NEW nets at the Beaminster Memorial Playing Field will bring benefits for the recreation area and those living nearby according to the town cricket club.

The new practice area will replace existing nets in the south west corner of the field which are decades old and produce an uneven bounce – in addition to looking unsightly

The town’s cricket club, which dates from 1855 making it one of the oldest in the region, say there has been a recent resurgence and it now has over a hundred members with efforts being made to reverse an historic lack of investment.

Its plans include replacing the existing frame and concrete base, laid over 30 years ago and adding additional netting to protect nearby homes.

The club say the concrete base will be removed and replaced with a state-of-the-art, purpose-built non-turf system and frame with black netting, slightly changing its orientation slightly and adding a drainage channel to take surface water into an existing ditch running along the western boundary of the field.

Other changes included a slightly increase in height and a longer nets area, which will be completely enclosed by netting, to prevent balls being hit towards nearby properties.

Said the club in its, approved, application for planning permission: “The existing net is aged, was built piecemeal from left over building materials and consists of two concrete strips (one bowling run-up, one batting area) with different coloured roll-on markings.

"The proposal is for a single continuous non-turf system with a grass-coloured carpet running the full length which will be 33m x 3.66m (high) x 4m (wide). There will be three cream-coloured training lines showing the location of the stumps running the length of the new facility and crease lines will be permanently marked for different age groups on the new carpet. The metal frame will be purpose built with a green finish with the width and height matching the two mobile cages in the adjacent area meaning there will be negligible change to the existing scenery at the ground or from neighbouring properties.

"The net will be made from black braded cord. A full height white close mesh ‘curtain’ screen will be mounted on wires at the bowling end to act as a sight screen which will be stored when not in use.”

Work on the net facility is expected to be completed shortly before the start of the 2024 summer season.