'˜Save our playground from developers'

Protestors are attempting to stop plans to turn a former Leyland town centre playground into new housing from going ahead.

Tuesday, 2nd October 2018, 8:43 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd October 2018, 9:47 am
Land off Balcarres Road, Leyland

The Balcarres Green site - at the end of Balcarres Road - has been described as ‘one of the last green spaces’ in the area.

Local residents are said to be unaware of the move by South Ribble council.

Councillors discussed the issue in private at a meeting of the authority’s cabinet as the matter is going out to tender.

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Ward councillor Matthew Tomlinson said he understood the need for privacy as regards the council discussing sensitive financial issues.

But he is firmly against the former playgroujnd being swallowed up for the new houisng development and is rallying residents into action.

He has helped to organise more than 100 protest leaflets against the plans.

He said: “I’m not allowed to discuss the content of this report. However I think it is hugely premature to now allow building on one of the last remaining green spaces in central Leyland.”

Kim Snape, Labour’s prospective Parliamentary candidate, is also angry.

She said: “It has to be appropriate housing in the appropriate place.

“There’s so much uncertainty around it because of a lack of consultation – it’s gone under the radar without anyone knowing.

“I think people would just appreciate it if someone had spoken to them before it was all documented that this piece of land was to be built on. It’s about being open and transparent. How would you feel about another use for this land?”

She said the land had been a green space for some time.

“It’s been a former play area,” she said. “It’s finding out what people want for it. There’s a lack of green space in Leyland town centre.”

Three site were identified for residential development in the report; They are: Balcarres Green; Kingsfoeld Drive, Penwortham; Bridge Road/Todd Lane, Lostock Hall.

In addition to a recommendation to cabinet to release the three sites for housing, ‘the continued exploration of other council assets for the home build project’ was also recommended.

Councillor Tomlinson and Ms Snape were due to leaflet residents yesterday and today.