THERE has been a big reaction to news that a city centre playing field in Battenhall Road is up for sale.

The 6.58 acres site was the former playing field of St Mary’s School and currently features parking, a pavilion and storage shed. The field is going under the hammer with a guide price of £115,000 at a public auction, through Andrew Grant, at the Crown And Sandys in Ombersley on April 17.

A spokesman for the University of Worcester, that currently leases the site, said: "For more than 10 years the university has been leasing the former (school) playing field to provide outdoor training and playing facilities for its own students, as well as a number of community partners, including Nunnery Wood Colts, and the school itself before it sadly closed. This playing field and changing facility has effectively been integrated into the 13 acres of playing fields that the university already owns. The lease has a termination clause which has now been exercised by the Holy Order, which owns the land, who wish to sell it. The land is currently zoned as green infrastructure.

The university has been a highly responsible owner, lessee of the playing fields and worked in partnership with the school, when it existed, as well as with a number of community partners.

"Whatever the outcome of the auction, the university is committed to working with its community partners to ensure all options to continue working together in the interests of health, sport and young people are fully explored."

In May 2015, plans to build at nearby Middle Battenhall Farm were blocked by councillors, including county councillor Pat Agar. On possible housing on the new site, Cllr Agar said: “The community will be against it - it is the loss of another green space."

Christopher ‘Khristos’ Dennis said: “Is no bit of greenery in Worcester safe?”

Emma Sherwood said: “What will the buyer do with it? Build more flipping houses on it, that’s what. Talk about an obsession.”

Billy Ruffian said: “If it’s not destined to become housing, it’ll be snapped up by a developer, who then proceeds to tell the city council that Worcester is woefully short of warehouses and distribution units.”

Neil Mogford said: “I suspect long term this is very bad news for the residents of Battenhall. With Kempsey a building site and the Ketch development on the way where is all this going to end.”

Jo Wood said: “So that means Blessed Edwards will be even more over-subscribed, more traffic, another green space gone.”