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Blow for Wickford park revamp
3:30pm Friday 6th September 2013 in News
PLANS to kickstart a £1million revamp of Wickford’s Memorial Park stalled after councillors rejected proposals.
Basildon Council revealed earlier this summer it planned to spruce up the park, in Rettendon View.
Under the proposals – and using nearly half of the £1million – the authority hoped to refurbish the cricket pavilion for community use, opening a cafe within it, as well as creating changing rooms for teams using park playing fields.
The council also outlined plans to improve the walkways and restore the memorial area with the other half of the £1million.
But the council saw its own plans for the pavilion unanimously rejected by the planning committee on Tuesday.
Councillors decided the improvements were poorly designed.
Members from all parties expressed particular concerns over the windows of the pavilion, which they said were narrow and only a minor improvement on the current ones.
The news came as a shock for those behind the plans, which were expected to be approved by the committee.
Kevin Blake, the council member for leisure and the arts, who has publicly backed the park revamp, said: “I’m very disappointed.
If people want a £5million development over there they are not going to get it.
“There is only a certain amount of cash you can bid for and you have to keep everything within that budget.”
Mr Blake said he was also frustated that councillors rejected a suggestion – put forward by planning officers at the meeting – that they gave the plans the go-ahead on condition the design of the windows was improved.
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