Saturday, 23 September 2017

Park is real gem at heart of community

SAVE Albert Road Park says: "Our campaigners have delivered more than 2,000 signatures on a petition to Reading Borough Council against proposals to potentially build a school on the site of the park.

SAVE Albert Road Park says: "Our campaigners have delivered more than 2,000 signatures on a petition to Reading Borough Council against proposals to potentially build a school on the site of the park.

"The group was formed after residents discovered their much-loved green space had been formally identified as a potential site for the Heights School in December.

"The group wants to raise awareness that the park is under threat and for the whole community to have their say in choosing a location for the new school.

"On a compact site, Albert Road park is well used by the whole community all-year round. It offers a popular children's playground, a bowls club, Reading's only croquet club, a grassy area for ball games and dog walking and four tennis courts - the only free courts in the area.



"The flat tarmac perimeter path with disabled access is popular for gentle exercise and youngsters learning to cycle.

"For many children, trips to the park to meet friends are the first steps to independence from parents as they grow up. We support a new school but do not believe that Albert Road park is the right location. The site is so compact that if a school was to be built there, this irreplaceable park would be lost to the community.

"Our park is about more than just its facilities, it's at the heart of our community, a real gem that has witnessed more than 100 years of people enjoying their leisure time.

"To redevelop this site would be to ignore the intentions behind the original gift of land - it was donated in 1913 by a local philanthropist solely for 'athletic purposes'.

"Local children would gain a school but the whole community would lose a valued recreational facility forever.

"In 100 years' time no one would remember the cost of building the school but they would remember what was lost.

"SARP believes the redevelopment of the park also goes against wider government policy and the Olympic pledge for more access to green, open spaces within walking distance."



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