A SPORTS field used by an estimated 9,000 people a month could be closed to create a VIP carpark during Olympic year, it has been claimed.

Liberal Democrats say the Labour council leadership are trying to strike a deal to lease the park to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), which would see local people excluded in 2012.

The alleged move comes after Labour pledged to protect leisure facilities in its election manifesto.

Drapers Field consists of all weather football pitch, playing fields and an arts centre.

An estimated 1,380 people a week use the all-weather pitch alone.

Lib Dem group leader Bob Sullivan said: “To allow Drapers Field to be given over to the ODA and turned into a car park would be a travesty for local clubs and schools.

“The Olympics should be used to encourage sport, not destroy it.

“Under Labour the council is in danger of missing a huge opportunity to gain Olympic benefits “There are no other all-weather pitches in the immediate area. This could cause enormous disruption to users.”

Cllr Sullivan said he has written to the ODA and the council leader demanding information about the negotiations and seeking assurances that the interests of local sports clubs and residents will be protected.

Council leader Cllr Chris Robbins was unavailable to comment.

The Guardian is awaiting a response from the ODA.