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Jubilee park road threat
A ROAD could be created through a park which was meant to be protected forever as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Whitchurch won a competition run by the national organisation, Fields in Trust, to have Daniel Park preserved as a recreational space after gaining the highest number of votes in the borough.
The terms of the Queen Elizabeth Fields Challenge were that winning parks would be subject to a protective covenant in honour of the Queen’s 60-year reign.
But a report prepared for the borough council’s economic prosperity committee meeting to be held on Tuesday, shows plans to dedicate the park, but remove protection from a strip providing access to a potential 200-home housing estate on the council-owned Knowlings Field.
The report also says that council officers have discussed the terms of the dedication with Fields in Trust, who accepted the exclusion of the strip of land.
Whitchurch borough councillor Keith Watts, (pictured) who nominated the site for the competition, said: “I will fight this in the council but I am more than disappointed at the breach of trust by the so-called Fields in Trust.”
He added: “Fields in Trust have agreed, behind the backs of all the people who voted for Daniel Park to be preserved forever for recreation as a Queen Elizabeth Field, that a 150-metre-long strip can be reserved for a road. This is a dreadful breach of trust.
“The idea that this is a suitable entry point for an estate of 200 houses is in any case, insane.”
Alison Moore-Gwyn, chief executive of Fields in Trust, said nothing had yet been decided.
She added: “You can’t leave a piece of land without access and we are trying to find a solution. Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council still owns both pieces of land. We will try and maximise the amount of land that is safeguarded.”