Local scouts fear their field is under threat after plans to open a hand car wash on the land were lodged with the council.

Fifth Southgate Scout Group has been using a field in Winchmore Hill for outdoor activities such as cooking and survival skills for more than 90 years.

The group also holds an annual firework display at the site – the Paulin Ground, at Winchmore Hill Sports Club – which helps to raise vital funds.

But plans for a car wash on the land have left them fearful for its future.

Scout leader Jayne Poole said: “It has lovely wildlife – the nature in that area is incredible.

“I am upset and horrified that there are people who want to take that away from us.

“We can’t take open space away from these young people. They need to be in the fresh air.

“With the issues we have with kids today, we have got to allow them this open space.”

The planning application states that the proposed car wash “will be closed when any scouts activities will be arranged and will be fully ready for kids and in safe conditions”.

But the scouts are not convinced by the pledge and have been campaigning against the application.

Cllr Ian Barnes, Labour member for Winchmore Hill, said: “I know that the 5th Southgate Scouts really value the field in Winchmore Hill.

“For 93 years the field has been an invaluable place for young people to make fires and cook along with other survival skills in preparation for camping expeditions into the wilderness.

“I work across the borough with groups who are desperately trying to provide opportunities and positive activities for young people.

“Such provision is all the more important given the dramatic increase in youth crime in Enfield. The activities run by the 5th Southgate Scouts are exactly the sort of thing Enfield needs.”

People can comment on the application by visiting the council’s planning register and searching for reference: 19/01336/FUL