Campaigners calling for deadline extension over the future of a South Shields park
Campaigners who are fighting to save part of Temple Memorial park from being built on are calling on council chiefs to extend the deadline for comments and objections.
People have until January 3 to put forward their views on South Shields and Westoe Rugby Club’s plans to build a new sports ground on the site.
It’s current home in Wood Terrace would be sold to a housing developer.
An online petition against the plans has collected more than 2,000 signatures.
Gerard New, who helped set the petition in motion, said the deadline should be extended and letters should be sent to every resident in South Shields to make them aware of the full-scale of the plans.
It is a view backed by a Labour party member who says the land was gifted to the people of South Shields and it’s only right the people of the town have a say.
They said: “Letters were sent out to residents living in the nearby area, but not everyone got one.
“The land was gifted to the people of the town to recognise their efforts during the war, so it is only right every resident in the town should be notified and asked for their views.
“People quite rightly have concerns that there has not been a proper consultation over this. The land belongs to the people of the town and they should have a say over what goes on it.”
Campaigners are currently in the process of setting up a Friends of Temple Memorial Park in a bid to look at ways the area can be enhanced for the community.
They say they are also keen to work with the council to improve the area for the people of the town.
Mr New said: “There needs to be an extension to the deadline. The Christmas period is one of the busiest time of the year for people when things like this can be overlooked.
“There also needs to be a proper consultation with letters sent out to all residents of the town not just a small number of people.
“I think the council forget this is public land which was gifted to the people of the town.
“The council seem to think they are acting on our behalf but they haven’t asked us our opinions on it.
“Not everyone is on social media, not everyone is aware of what is happening or the scale of the project.
“This is a war memorial as well, I just don’t understand how the council can think this is okay?
“We are setting up a Friends of Temple Memorial Park to see how the land can be developed and enhanced for the community and to enable us to apply for funding. We’d like the council to work alongside us.”
To put forward comments visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk planning application number ST/1127/17/FUL