Last chance to have your say on Harpenden recreation ground

Public inquiry on Westfield Recreation Ground starts soon

Public inquiry on Westfield Recreation Ground starts soon - Credit: Photo supplied

A Harpenden resident who has long campaigned for the retention of green spaces in the town is urging locals to take part in a survey on the future of a recreation site.

Harpenden town council has launched a questionnaire seeking opinions on Westfield recreation ground, off Westfield Road, which it owns and maintains.

According to its website the authority is, “developing an innovative, attractive and environmentally sensitive design” for the site.

But that has set off alarm bells for Carol Hedges who has recently co-founded the Harpenden Independent Partnership, a group of residents concerned about local councils making decisions “without proper consultation”.

She said: “Residents’ constant requests to update play equipment, give us a second goal post and provide seating and teenage facilities have been ignored.”

Carol claimed the survey was a “cynical ploy” by the council to divert the community from its plan to sell off former allotment land nearby at Westfield, “a large swathe of our publically owned green space for more development”.

However Cllr Bert Pawle, north ward, pointed out that the council had planned to consult the community on proposed improvements to the grounds months ago, but had waited for a decision on a bid to change the status of the playing field to a town green.

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Carol had applied to Herts county council in 2010 to have the 1.15 hectare green space registered as a town green.

However that attempt was scuppered last year after a public inquiry.

Cllr Pawle has also urged residents to have their say on the recreation ground. The council’s website describes the site as containing two play areas, for smaller and older children, and a large open space for general play such as football.

Its survey, which closes on Friday May 9, asks people to rate the ground, how they use it, whether and what changes should be made and factors preventing access.

To take part see www.surveymonkey.com/s/WestfieldRecreationGround

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