Anger over site of South Shields park’s new games area

Residents and dog walkers are upset about the possibility of a new games area in Readhead Park.
Residents and dog walkers are upset about the possibility of a new games area in Readhead Park.
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Council plans to build a games area in a South Tyneside park has been met with anger from residents.

People using Readhead Park in South Shields say they have been told work will begin on the multi-use games area (MUGA) which will be placed on green space within the park in a few weeks.

“Why can’t they make more use of space that isn’t used rather than take away land that is.”

Ann-Marie Pape

They feel the new games area should replace the rose garden which, they say, is under-used and resembles a bed of weeds instead of being built on the open land.

The multi-use games area will feature a football and basketball court.

Resident Ann- Marie Pape said: “No one is against the basketball court being put in the park. What we are against is where the council wants to put it.

“People play cricket on the field, the kids play there and people take their dogs for walk on the field. Why do the council want to take that away from people when there is an area which is under-used and would be a more suitable place for it.

“The so-called rose garden is just a bed of weeds. Why can’t they make more use of space that isn’t used rather than take away land that is.”

She added: “There has been no notices up about the plans and, when one of the residents went down to the council to complain, he was told it would be going ahead.”

The park was opened in May 1923 after the land was given over by Alderman Readhead in thanksgiving for peace.

The residents have contacted their local councillors regarding the issue which is expected to go before the planning committee in due course.

Councillor Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety, said: “This is a council application for a multi-use games area which is aimed at optimising usage of the park across different age groups.

“Young people already play football in the park but this additional facility will give them a dedicated area which will complement the other activities in the park. We hope that by enhancing these facilities we can encourage our young people to play sport and stay active.

“A number of objections from residents have been received and these will be considered as part of the planning process.”