We visit the idyllic village outside Birmingham where 'swearing' footballers are shattering peace

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Peace and harmony in beautiful village outside Birmingham which inspired the radio soap opera drama The Archers is being shattered by ‘swearing footballers’

A real-life drama is brewing in the idyllic village just outside Birmingham which inspired Radio 4 soap opera drama The Archers

Locals living in Inkberrow, Worcestershire - where house prices average £500,000 - are fed up with noisy players and fans from the village football club "shouting and swearing" and ruining their peace and quiet.

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Some residents say their gardens have "lost their tranquillity" and are objecting to plans for non-league Inkberrow FC to expand. They say the peace of the village has been "completely shattered" by match day shouting and cheering. 

The club runs around 30 teams from the under-7s to an over-50s side with many training and playing on Saturday and Sunday mornings at its Sands Pavilion ground. To accommodate the hundreds of players and fans, the club applied to Wychavon District Council for planning permission to build two new stands.

But the application attracted objections with some locals arguing the village is being "swamped" by the team's expansion and spoiled by "loutish" supporters. Retired bank worker Lynn Moseley, 65,  who lives opposite the Midlands club, said it would be "like having Birmingham City FC's ground in the middle of a little village". 

SWNS

She says the once-peaceful spot has been spoiled by swearing and shouting football players, giant floodlights and traffic problems. Mum-of-two Lynn, who has lived in Inkberrow for six years, said: "When I moved in it was just a field where people played football. 

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"A year later the ground was built. Then they put in for planning and then it’s got bigger and bigger. At first it was a little annoying on a Sunday because it's a very tranquil place but now the noise even comes down my chimney because I have a coal fire.

"Sometimes I come back on a Tuesday night and all the floodlights are on and they’re huge. You think ‘blimey, this wasn’t like this before’ - it was a nice, quiet dark village. The floodlights don’t affect me but for the people who live up the road, they’re right into their bedrooms. 

"You’ve got the shouting and the swearing from the pitch, which I understand. I used to play netball so I know how excited you become. But when you’re at home you don't want to hear it. I think they run 30 odd teams and the constant traffic is bad. They must have 100 cars in the car park. 

"The constant traffic has become such a nightmare. We have no paths so when cars come down you have to go up onto the grass. Now on a Saturday and Sunday it is so busy. They don’t realise it’s 30mph. They drive at such erratic speeds. 

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"When I'm walking my dogs you have your life in your hands. I was begging for it to not be bigger, because the village can’t handle any more traffic. They have a license to serve alcohol too, so they’re there until very late.

“I don’t disagree that it’s bad for the kids to play football, but it’s not nice having it on your doorstep. It’s going to be like Birmingham City's football ground in the middle of a little village. Neighbours say they don’t agree with it but they’re too scared to say anything. They said they were worried they would be alienated. 

“It’s different when it impacts your daily life. It’s not ideal. It’s really difficult. Someone told me it was about £600,000 gone in from the council. It’s a lovely little village to live in and it takes away from the area. Someone I spoke to said they were thinking of moving. But no football pitch is going to make me move."

Aerial view of Inkberrow FCAerial view of Inkberrow FC
Aerial view of Inkberrow FC | Joseph Walshe / SWNS

Another resident, who did not want to be named, added: "I'm glad the team are doing so well but it does attract a certain loutish atmosphere on matchdays. The traffic can get quite bad too. You can hear the players and supporters effing and jeffing and what not. It does completely shatter the peace and quiet. If the club expands then I can only see it getting worse so I'm not too happy about it to be honest. We're more cricket men around here."

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Another said: “Living in this what was once a quiet idyllic road in a rural village has become like living in a busy city, and our quiet Saturdays and Sundays in our gardens have lost their tranquility as I’m left listening to shouting and swearing football players.”

Another resident Rosie Lee said: “This club is growing way too fast for the size of the small rural village we live in. The applications being put in are for a town-sized club’s amenities.

“I live on a small rural road which is being swamped by this tiny club expanding beyond the size of the road it sits on. There is not enough parking as it stands without extra seating. I feel that adding grandstands is totally out of keeping with my local village with its protected central area and dark village policy. The ugly structures will detract from the beautiful landscape."

However, one supporter Gareth Cornwell argued: "The club is fantastic meeting place for everyone. Safe and secure for our little ones to run around. The sporting facilities are by far the best in the area and especially to those who have no transportation. The plans will only improve the club and bring greater scope for all the local community."

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Inkberrow's first team plays in the Midland Football League Division 2 and Sporting Club Inkberrow compete in Division One of the Hellenic League. 

A spokesman for Wychavon District Council said: “Consultation is currently being carried out on this application until 17 May and anyone interested can view the application and submit a comment on our website in the usual way. As this is a planning application we have yet to make a decision on, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

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