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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Angry residents to meet landowner over community gardens plan

A group of residents on Workington’s Westfield estate have vowed to continue a fight against a proposed community garden, despite the project getting the go-ahead from planners.

Derwent & Solway Housing Association said the garden, planned on a triangular plot of land accessed from Garth Road, would address health inequality and promote financial inclusion by encouraging people to grow food.

Similar projects at Hillary Close in Salterbeck and Wastwater Avenue in Moorclose were given the go-ahead by Allerdale council planning officers last year.

Twenty-one residents of Garth Road, Ghyll Road and Westfield Drive signed a petition and seven letters of objection were submitted raising concerns about a loss of privacy.

They now plan to meet Derwent & Solway and Westfield Housing Association, which owns the land, to urge them not to go ahead.

Wendy O’Neil, whose Garth Road house is next to the site entrance track, said: “I’m absolutely gutted. Why should my quality of life be diminished?

“I’m going to have to think about getting dressed before I even open my curtains.

“All of a sudden there’s going to be an area where youngsters can mess about.

“Nobody from outside can see what’s going on there. Who’s going to police it?”

Alan Williams, 64, of Garth Road, said: “We don’t want to be inundated with people. Will it be a magnet for kids when there’s nobody about? Are they going to start wrecking the place?”

Brian Stalker, 65, of Ghyll Road, fears the garden will create extra traffic.

He said: “There were more objectors than supporters. To approve it would appear at odds with local opinion.”

Councillors said they recognised the concerns but felt the project would be good for the community. Ten members voted in favour, with three against.

Ben Brinicombe, of Derwent & Solway, said the association wanted to meet residents.

He added: “We are not going to be bringing large numbers of people in. We are going to work with neighbouring people to make sure there is adequate screening and there is no issue over safety. We know we have a lot more work to do.”

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