Crossford Bridge Playing Fields
A petition against the Sale Sharks project was signed by more than 4,000 people

Trafford to protect Crossford Bridge after Sharks scare 

Dan Whelan

The council wants to safeguard the 11-acre site after a failed attempt by rugby union side Sale Sharks to build a new stadium on the playing fields.

Last summer, developer Crossford Futures identified Crossford Bridge Playing Fields, between Cross Street and the Bridgewater Canal next to the M60, as the potential location for a stadium. 

However, Trafford Council pulled its support for the project following a public backlash against the proposals.

The project would have seen the club return to Sale for the first time since relocating from Heywood Road to Edgeley Park in Stockport in 2003.

Now, Trafford Council is progressing plans to enter into an agreement with Fields of Trust to protect the site from future development. 

Fields of Trust works with landowners to protect land through deeds of dedication, “a binding legal commitment with the landowner that secures spaces in perpetuity for current and future generations to enjoy”, according to the organisation’s website. 

Under the terms of the deed, the site could only be used for public recreation, and Fields of Trust would have the final say on any plans to build on the site. 

Only structures related to the use of the land, such as changing rooms, would be permitted under the agreement. 

In addition, the council would not be able to dispose of the land without the permission of Fields of Trust. 

The site is managed by Crossford Bridge Management Association via a subsidised management agreement that has been in place since 2002.  

Under the terms of the deed, CBMA, which has expressed an interest in securing a long lease on the site, would continue to manage the facility.

A spokesperson for Trafford Council said:  “The recommendation set out in the report to dedicate Crossford Bridge playing fields as a Field in Trust will serve to safeguard its long term future as playing fields and a recreation ground. If approved by the council’s executive, the council will embark on the process required to bring this to fruition.

“Improving the health and wellbeing of residents is one of the Council’s corporate priorities and this proposal will protect Crossford Bridge playing fields and ensure this valued green space can continue to be enjoyed by local residents and sports teams.”

The council is expected to approve the decision to enter into a deed of dedication with Fields of Trust when its executive board meets next week. 

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Poor initial judgement from TMBC. The site is protected open space and located in the Green Belt and yet they initially supported the concept of a new stadium on this site. Common sense seems to have prevailed but only after significant public opposition which was inevitable.

By Sally Cinnamon

Get it built

By Jerry Kan