One of Rotherham's much-loved premier green spaces is set to be protected for all time thanks to the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.
Rotherham Borough Council's Cabinet members have agreed that the authority should begin the process that would result in Herringthorpe Playing Fields becoming a Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge site.
Members agreed that negotiations should be started with 'Fields in Trust' that will ultimately see a Deed of Dedication being drawn up that will establish the 96-acre fields as a challenge site. Achieving the status will mean the fields will remain a key open space leisure facility in perpetuity without affectiving the authority's plans to improve the sport and recreation facilities on the site.
The meeting heard that although dedicating a site restricts what can be done with it in the future, any negotiations will allow the authority to continue its day-to-day management of the fields as well as any current and future sports and recreation provision. This would include changing rooms, all weather surfaces, floodlighting, grandstands, play areas, multi-use games areas, skate parks and BMX facilities.
Other facilities such as fencing, office space, cafés and car parking are also considered to be acceptable where they support the operation and sustainability of the sport and recreation facilities.
Coun. Mahroof Hussain, Cabinet Member for Community Development, Equality and Young Peoples Issues, said he hoped the news would be welcomed by Rotherham residents who have expressed concerns about the future of the site.
He added: "Local residents petitioned the authority asking us to apply to Fields in Trust and so we hope that this demonstrate our long-standing commitment to this wonderful local facility. We have always wanted to protect and enhance the fields and we hope our application in this Jubilee Year will do just that."