ting was held
This evening’s meeting was held at the Cardigan Centre. It was attended by four representatives of the developer; Ian Barraclough, John Barraclough, Stuart Natkus, and Matthew Fuller; five councillors; John Illingworth, Janette Walker, Neil Walshaw, Martin Hamilton and Javaid Akhtar; the community planning officer, Ryan Platten and forty one local residents.
Martin Oxley from Futsal came and spoke about how given the chance he could make the site available for the community to use for sports purposes. He said there is plenty of money out there in the form of grants. He said he’s done it before and can do it again.
Amit Roy said the School hadn’t just moved the goalposts, it had moved the entire playing field. He compared the School to locusts, determined to consume everything in our area, and to leave nothing behind.
Mavis Whitbread pointed out that there was an article in today’s paper about how people at Holt Park are complaining that they’ll be without a leisure centre for 11 months while a new multi million pound leisure centre is built to replace their old one, whereas the people of Hyde Park have never had a leisure centre, and now the only swimming pool and sports centre in the area will be pulled down if the current planning application goes ahead.
Councillor Illingworth said that life expectancy in the Holt Park area is 11 to 12 years longer than life expectancy in the Hyde Park area.
Another lady said that whereas the developers claim their development will attract families to the area, the reality is that by building on Hyde Park’s last remaining green space, existing families will be driven from the area.
In response to a promise by Ian Barraclough to include an orchard in the development, Christine McQuillan said her grandchildren don’t need an orchard to sit in and get fat, they need a swimming pool.
It was pointed out from the floor that the swimming pool and sports hall are protected from demolition by a planning law which says that before land with existing sports facilities can be built on, those facilities have to be replaced elsewhere, and the School hasn’t replaced the swimming pool and sports hall with new ones either at Alwoodley or anywhere else. Councillor Hamilton said he would look into this.
At the end of the meeting, residents voted to reject the current planning application, and to establish an action group whose aim will be to ensure that the site remains as a playing field and that the swimming pool and sports hall are made available for use by the community.
You can read a full account of the meeting here.