RESIDENTS concerned about the future of a popular Stone park are being urged to attend a public meeting next month.
Stafford Borough Council representatives are set to give a presentation on the Plan for Stafford Borough, which includes proposals for a “mixed use development” at Westbridge Park, at Alleyne’s High School’s theatre on November 20. The meeting at the Oulton Road school will start at 7pm.
The presentation will be part of a Stone Town Council general purposes committee meeting.
Usually meetings of this type are held in the council chamber, but next month’s meeting will be held in a venue with more public space.
The proposals for Westbridge Park, revealed in the Newsletter last month, have sparked strong feelings in Stone and the surrounding areas.
A petition to “keep Westbridge Park green” has now netted almost 2,500 signatures, both online in an e-petition to Stafford Borough Council and in paper copies available throughout Stone town centre.
Town councillor Rob Kenney, who launched the e-petition, said: “It seems that the petition and a mention of us holding our own public meeting has forced the hand of Stafford Borough Council to give a presentation regarding the Plan for Stafford Borough - the very same document that includes the statement ‘provision of mixed use development at Westbridge Park’.
“As many members of the public as possible should attend the meeting. The fact that the meeting is being held at Alleyne’s means they are expecting a large turn-out.
“From reading between the lines Stafford Borough wants to extend the leisure facility and enhance playground facilities on the same side of Westbridge Park as the existing gym.
"This is the ‘sweetener’ for the building of a supermarket on the other side of the road.
“They say that there would be enough room left for events to still take place. Whilst some people would like to see an enhanced leisure facility and playground, they would not welcome a supermarket.
“We have now started to set up an action group and already have people with legal expertise on board.
"We are looking for local people with expertise in planning and other relevant fields to help form the group and we also need written representation from local groups and people who use Westbridge Park.”
Stafford Borough Council leaders have stressed there was never any intention to build homes on Westbridge Park and have vowed to let residents and businesses have their say on any future development on the site through a full consultation.