Council shuts park in Penwortham to stop crowds gathering and drinking

A park in Penwortham has been closed by the Council to stop large groups from gathering and drinking on the grass.

Monday, 17th August 2020, 3:55 pm
A gathering in Pear Tree park, off Leyland Road, Penwortham earlier this summer

Pear Tree Park, also known as Middleforth Green, off Leyland Road, has been closed with immediate affect by South Ribble Borough Council.

Signs have been posted around the park and at its entrances, warning that the green space is now off-limits and those caught on the grass could face fines of up to £500.

The sign says: "The area of the park identified on the plan below is closed to public access until further notice.

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Pear Tree Park, also known as Middleforth Green, off Leyland Road in Penwortham, has been closed to the public to "stop people from gathering on the grass" and drinking, said South Ribble Borough Council

"Keep off the grass at all times. Penalty - Fines of up to £500."

It includes a map of the area with the park and its perimeter clearly marked as out of bounds, from Marshalls Brow on the west side to Leyland Road on its east side.

It is not clear whether the park is completely closed to the public, including dog walkers and those taking exercise, or whether the ban just applies to 'gatherings'.

A Council spokesman said: "These signs have been put in place to stop people from gathering on this section of grass.

Pear Tree park, also known as Middleforth Green, is now off-limits with fines of up to £500 for those found on flouting the closure order. Pic: Google

"This is as a result of many gathering on this land and drinking alcohol which is served by one of the local pubs within the area."

It is understood the Council is referring to the Pear Tree pub across the road from the park in Leyland Road.

Earlier this summer, when lockdown prevented people from sitting inside pubs, residents complained that revellers were turning the park into a 'booze-fuelled, urine-soaked festival ground'.

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On some evenings, crowds of more than 100 people had reportedly gathered in the park, with many of them enjoying take-out pints from the Pear Tree pub.

Residents and park users said they were appalled at the amount of litter found strewn across the grass and people using its bushes as an outdoor lavatory.

After recording a minor spike in new cases of coronavirus across South Ribble last week, the Council appears to have closed the park to prevent crowds from congregating.

South Ribble Borough Council has been approached for further comment.