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Opposition to play park From Durham Times

RESIDENTS have spoken out against a plans to push ahead with the creation of a play park and recreation area on the outskirts of a north Durham village despite overwhelming opposition.

The £69,000 facility, funded by Marks £ Spencer, Durham Area Action Partnership and Durham County Council is proposed on land near Colliery Road, in Bearpark, near Durham City.

Residents have argued the new play park will be in an isolated area and would compound existing anti-social behaviour.

Earlier this year they collected more than 600 names on a petition asking for the facilities to be placed in the centre of the village.

Campaigners said they will be making their feelings clear meeting arranged by Durham County Council at the Bearpark Community Centre at 2pm on Friday – Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods is expected to attend.

Geraldine Hendry of Blackburn Close said: “We are not happy they are pressing ahead regardless. “Even with its problems it is very isolated.

“The facilities are meant for children from Ushaw Moor and New Brancepeth, as well. So how on earth is that central for them?”

Fellow campaigner Ron Kemp said: “The council are acting in a high-handed fashion in pressing ahead with these plans.

“This decision is being railroaded through.”

He was responding to a letter from council’s head of sport and leisure Stephen Howell, which said the authority remained committed to the development of the Colliery Road Recreation ground, “as it had always been an area for young and old to participate in sport and leisure”.

Mr Howell wrote: “There is enough land to develop a play park that would fulfil the requirements of all young people in Bearpark.

“Funding has already been committed to the development of this area and would be at risk if the project is delayed or indeed relocated.”

He added there was no other suitable site for the type of facility young people in the community were requessting, including for BMX and skate ramps.

Mr Howell said: “The Wood is too close to housing occupied by vulnerable people and already has problems with anti-social behaviour.

“However, we have agreed to look into providing some equipment on this site for use by younger children.

via Opposition to play park From Durham Times.

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