A FIELD next to Broadwindsor cricket club off Beaminster Road is to be converted to a 20-space car park.

Dorset Council has approved a planning application for the change to a 885 square metre plot which will see the surface covered in crushed and rolled stone.

The club is also hoping to improve visibility splays at the entrance while the work is carried out.

In its application the club says its 97-year existence was thought to be under threat until an agreement was recently reached to buy the site it had previously been leasing.

The club, which is now registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, says it is hoping to improve the facilities it can offer the community allowing the site to be used for other non-profit year-round leisure activities.

Said a letter with the planning application: “Parking capacity at the ground has long been an issue. To address this, Mr and Mrs Tolley, adjacent landowners have agreed to lease a parcel of land on the adjoining boundary to the cricket club. This will result in minimal loss of agricultural land but helps deliver the purposes of the club in providing recreational facilities, particularly for the playing of cricket, to the local community. “

Access to the parking area will be from the existing entrance to the cricket ground with a security gate at least 5m back from the B3163.

Approximately 7m of existing hedgerow will need to be removed as part of the work, but more than 40m will be planted with mixed native species.