THE war over land ownership between two Slough sports clubs rages on after the council approved plans for a new pitch.

The Slough Cricket Club (SCC) and Slough Hockey Club (SHC) are still at loggerheads over land earmarked for a third cricket pitch.

A majority of councillors on the planning committee approved the plans as well as a shed to provide a changing room, a new scoreboard, a high batting screen, and an extension to the perimeter fence in June.

Speaking at the meeting, Nadeem Syed, treasurer of SCC, said they were “struggling” to accommodate their growing number of members with two pitches – resulting in turning new members away.

READ MORE: Slough cricket club and hockey club lock horns over third pitch plans

SCC is eyeing up creating a new girl’s section and a new disability section – but requires another pitch.

But this application triggered a row with SHC, who share part of SCC’s site, claiming they purchased that particular land with their own funds to create a second hockey pitch as they want to become an academy.

This requires the hockey club to install a second pitch.

Slough Observer: Overview of the cricket pitchOverview of the cricket pitch

SHC’s chairman Harjit Sandhu said: “Hockey has ambitions to expand here, and we need to expand because right now, we also have an issue.

“We go out and hire out facilities elsewhere as we have an overload of hockey club members. They are not always available because a number of other sports also use those facilities.”

They also claimed the cricket club “does not” own the land and is owned by Slough Sports Club, which governs both groups, and did the cricket club inform the sports club about their plans.

Under the sports club constitution, it states all buildings and land shall be owned by the trustees of the club on behalf of the groups.

But Mr Syed said they bought this land 21 years ago and it is registered to them, which was provided to the council and Sports England, and did show the plans to the sports club.

He said without proving this is their land, the council would not have approved their plans, nor they would have secured funds from Sports England to install a third pitch.

While not against a third pitch, SHC added they had their ideas dashed by the cricket club for a hybrid scheme that can accommodate both pitches.

Slough Observer: Overview of the cricket pitchOverview of the cricket pitch

But this would require the cricket club to reconfigure their grounds in order to fit a second hockey pitch – which Mr Sandhu criticised the cricket club for not using their site “economically” where they could “easily” fit another pitch elsewhere.

The cricket club’s treasurer said a hybrid scheme is “not possible” due to the pitch materials used – for example, hockey uses AstroTurf and cricket doesn’t

He also said the cricket club has already reconfigured their pitches when SHC moved next door in order to accommodate a hockey pitch.

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Mr Syed said: “We have decided when we build the pitch, we will leave enough space for them for a future hockey pitch if they want. It’s a 7.5 acre land, we need only about 3.5 acres.

“So, we can have our ground and there’s enough space there earmarked for a hockey pitch should they in the future wish to use that space to expand their playing facilities.

“We have made that offer and from our point of view, we have been fair and reasonable.”

The debate on parking still rages with SHC fearing a third pitch will add to the chaos when both clubs are hosting matches, calling it a “chock-a-block”.

Slough Observer: SHC claim the parking lot is always full when two matches are onSHC claim the parking lot is always full when two matches are on

However, Mr Syed said the parking mayhem is “nonsense” and has never happened when the clubs have matches on.

He said parking does increase when both clubs hold parties or events on ‘rare’ occasions – but maintained a third pitch will not increase this to an uncontrollable level because most of their new members will be children who will be picked up/dropped off by their parents.

The site currently has 55 spaces – but an independent traffic surveyor recommended SCC adds another 23 car parking spaces to accommodate the added members – to which they agreed.

But Mr Sandhu maintains the belief the survey was done on a quiet day and the parking issue has been “brushed aside” as some park on the grass rather than in the parking lot.