BEDS giant Silentnight is to honour its pledge to hand over allotments in Sutton and give the village's cricket club a 99-year ground lease.

Its chief executive Bill Simpson told the Herald the firm had now instructed solicitors to draw up the lease for the club and hand over the allotments to the parish council.

"We're doing everything we said we'd do and honouring our pledge to the people of Sutton," he said.

The cricket club has been asking for a long lease for its ground, owned by Silentnight, since 1995. Without it, it cannot apply for grants to replace its dilapidated clubhouse.

The cricket ground used to belong to the Bairstow family who owned the nearby mill. The club never thought to buy the ground, as members believed the mill would never close.

However, the mill was taken over by Silentnight which based part of its business there until it sold the site to housing developers Barratt.

Back in 1997 the beds firm said it would grant the cricket club a long lease with a peppercorn rent when the site was developed.

And it also pledged to hand over allotments, which it also owns, to be administered by Sutton Parish Council.

Parish councillor Chris Suri, who last month queried when Silentnight's promise would be honoured, said he was delighted with the news.

"I'm pleased to see these two issues coming to a satisfactory conclusion, both for the cricket club and for those who own, or wish to own, allotments in Sutton," he said.

"I'm thankful to Silentnight for finally honouring their pledge to the village."

Cricket club members are also getting increasingly concerned that building work by Barratt is preventing them getting access to the ground.

A road is being built next to the entrance with barriers put across to prevent members of the public from straying in.

Secretary David Holdsworth says he is also concerned about a lack of car parking space for players and spectators and that the boundary of the playing is being "eaten away" by the building of the road.

Parish council representatives were due to meet with Barratt chiefs on site this week to discuss the problems before the start of the cricket season on Saturday.

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