History of the site
This land was awarded to the churchwardens and overseers of the poor of the parish of Binsted on 28th January 1857. Title to these four acres is assigned to Binsted PC in the land registry.
The site is purported to be the ‘Original Oval’, constructed by Silver Billy Beldham in 1791 before he built the more famous cricket Oval in London.
It is officially registered as a village green (VG 16) and an endowed charity (number 301743). Its village green status limits development on the site. The only structures which can be built are those that directly contribute to the enjoyment of recreation.
This site can be used as an open space and has two footpaths across it. It is not suitable for use as a recreation ground in its current condition, so the grass is not being maintained. Rowledge Cricket Club has found it unsuitable for playing cricket, due to poor drainage on the field. There are also no parking facilities.
In 2018, following a review of parish assets, the parish council set up an ‘Oval Working Group’, to investigate whether the site could be improved as a community asset, with Councillor Ron Neil as Chair. Unfortunately this Working Group has yet to meet and, following Councillor Neil’s recent resignation, plans to re-form the Working Group are presently on hold.