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Campaigners win victory in fight to save South Shields park – but say they still have a long way to go

Friends of Temple Memorial Park celebrating the community asset status
Friends of Temple Memorial Park celebrating the community asset status

Campaigners fighting to save Temple Memorial Park from being developed for future generations are celebrating partial success.

Fields within the area bounded by the John Reid Road, Whiteleas Way, Nevinson Avenue and King George Road, have now been added to South Tyneside Council’s list of Assets of Community Value.

We know as a group we still have a long way to go in order to protect the park fully for future generations

Gerard New

The move has been welcomed by Friends of Temple Memorial Park who have campaigned to save the fields following an application by a sports club, last year, to build on the land. The application was later withdrawn.

Campaigner Gerard New said: “The news is very positive and the feedback we’ve received has been really positive too.

“By being added to the list it gives the land limited protection and states the community have an interest in the land, and if someone wants to come along and buy the land or lease it, it gives the community the right to bid for it.

“From where we were a year ago, everything is going really well. We have a number of litter picks taking place on a regular basis and we would love to work more alongside the council. “

As well as cleaning up the area for visitors, the group is also linking in with Durham Wildlife Trust to look at learning more about the variety of wildlife which lives within the park.

They are also hoping to have a new plaque installed within the park which acknowledges that the land was gifted to the people of South Shields for their efforts during the Second World War.

Mr New added: “The park has such a lot of potential and we would love to see it being used for more positive activities.

“We already have a number of running events taking place on there but there is scope for people to do a lot more.

“We know as a group we still have a long way to go in order to protect the park fully for future generations and while we welcome the council including the park on its list of Assets of Community Value, we won’t become complacent.

“We all need to work together to protect the land for the future.”

A spokesman for the council said: “The council recently received a nomination from a group known as “the Friends of Temple Park” that the unbuilt on/recreational land at Temple Park be included in the council’s List of Assets of Community Value maintained under the Localism Act 2011. Nominations for inclusion on the list must be assessed in accordance with the legislation.

“Following careful consideration, the council concluded that the land met all the statutory criteria for nomination, and so it was added to the council’s list.”