by prestwichfocus on 22 August, 2017
It has been confirmed that the Council is in discussion with the Forestry Commission about leasing significant parts of Prestwich’s parks and open spaces to the Government agency.
The Council owned sites that are subject to discussion with the FC are, in Prestwich:
· Philips Park and Mere Clough (Prestwich)
· Prestwich Clough excluding the St Mary’s Flower Park (Prestwich)
and further north:
· Outwood Trail linking Waterdale/Philips Park to Outwood
· Mount Zion Road sewage works
The area north of Waterdale that straddles the motorway is owned by United Utilities (UU) with the expectation that this could also be leased to the FC. Some areas of the parkland are already leased to the Forestry Commission (Drinkwater Park and Waterdale).
Negotiations with the FC are apparently still at an early stage and as yet no decision has been made, we assume that there would be an opportunity for local people to have their say on any proposals that at are made.
Prestwich Clough was donated as a park to Prestwich in 1906 by a local developer, Mr Gardner, while Phillips Park was bought as park in 1948 by the then Whitefield Council for use by both Whitefield and Prestwich.
We would be interested to know what your views are on leasing Council parkland to an external agency. Our parks do need investment and money spent on them, however our worry would be the lack of local control over our green spaces in the future.
As we reported recently the Council is in discussions with a football club about leasing two large areas of green space (off Sandgate Road and Clifton Road), most things like bowling greens are now ‘self managed’ by clubs, and we reported last week on plans to charge for the tennis courts at St Mary’s Park following a long term agreement with the Lawn Tennis Association.
If these proposals go ahead the pretty much the only parks in Prestwich which will still be in Council control will be St Mary’s Park, and St Mary’s Flower Garden.
We would be very interested in your views.