Ashton Park, a beloved green space in Preston, is now the center of a heated dispute between local residents and the city council. The proposed £9.7m revamp of the park, which includes a two-storey sports pavilion, 3G football pitch, and 150-space car park, has been met with fierce opposition from the community, led by the Fight for Ashton Park group.
A Battle for Preservation
The Fight for Ashton Park group, a collective of 1,200 concerned residents, has threatened legal action against the Preston City Council over the planned development. The group has raised several concerns, including the potential impact on wildlife and the lack of thorough archaeological surveys. Adding to their frustration is the decision to discuss the matter behind closed doors during a private council meeting.
Widespread Public Opposition
The public outcry against the proposed revamp has been overwhelming. Over 2,000 people have signed a petition opposing the project, and an astonishing 80% of respondents to a public consultation voiced their disapproval. Despite this clear display of dissent, the city council has engaged external legal advisors and remains steadfast in its plan to bring the application to the planning committee.
A Race Against Time
With government deadlines for project completion looming, the city council is under pressure to make a decision soon. The council's decision to seek external legal counsel suggests they are bracing for a contentious battle. As the fight for Ashton Park continues, the community waits with bated breath to see if their cherished green space will be preserved or forever altered.
In the end, this conflict is about more than just a park. It's about the power of community voices, the importance of preserving natural spaces, and the delicate balance between progress and tradition. As the story of Ashton Park unfolds, it serves as a reminder that every decision has consequences, and every voice matters.
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