Just 10 or 15 minutes of your time could save your park

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The article “Houses could be built in the Park “ (Wakefield Express July 18th) has caused a great deal of distress and opposition from residents throughout the Wakefield District. This proposal was first mooted in September 2010 when it was suggested by Wakefield College that their land in Thornes Park should be designated as a housing site in the Local Development Framework for Wakefield. At that time the justification for this was again to fund their development plans for Margaret Street. There was large scale public opposition, including opposition from Peter Box, the Leader of the Council and Mary Creagh, the MP for Wakefield,and the proposal was withdrawn. The Local Development Framework (LDF) was subsequently completed showing an adequate supply of land for housing elsewhere in the City without the need to develop land in Thornes Park.

It was estimated in 2010 that the land in Thornes Park could accommodate 164 executive houses. Imagine the peace and tranquillity of a walk around the perimeter of a new housing development of 164 executive houses with everyone looking out of their windows onto the Park. The landscape around the former Thornes House was designed by Robert Adam to frame views to and from this central location and the housing estate would therefore be visually prominent from all around the Park. Just as damaging would be the need for a new public highway through the Park to service the housing site. At present the Park has only narrow private roads which are closed when there are events in the Park or on an evening to prevent cars racing and spinning on the grass or any other anti-social behaviour. Not only would the Park cease to function as it does now, the number of park users, which has been on the increase in recent years, would reduce drastically and what is left of the Park would fall into decline.

The proposed development is not inevitable. Of crucial importance is the fact that the land in the centre of Thornes Park cannot be developed without assistance from and the support of Wakefield Council, for the Council would have to agree to sell park land to the College, to build a new access road through the Park.

If, like us, you are opposed to housing development in Thornes Park and would like to make your views known then please phone me on 01924 314222 or email info@chatparks.org.uk. 10 to 15 minutes of your time could prevent the loss of your Park.

Ian Deighton


Friends of CHaT Parks