Plans to build on Banbury park angers resident

Easington Rec. Plans were to build a 23 space car park in the grassy area up to the childs play zone NNL-170106-110148001
Easington Rec. Plans were to build a 23 space car park in the grassy area up to the childs play zone NNL-170106-110148001

Plans to build a 23-space car park on land in Easington Park has angered one resident, who is preparing to fight against it going ahead.

Banbury businessman Peter Cheeseman is launching a campaign against the proposal by Banbury Town Council to build the car park at the end of Harrier View, over safety fears and opposition to the loss of recreational land.

Mr Cheeseman said: “The roads are gridlocked, the town centre is closing down, the Horton Hospital too, there’s potholes in the roads and now we might be losing our parks.

“I’ve come to the point now where I have said ‘enough is enough’.”

He said the cars using the narrow access road to the car park could also pose a danger to children.

Mr Cheeseman, who has lived in the town for the past 50 years, has had 400 letters printed that he plans to drop through every letterbox in the area.

According to Cherwell District Council, 16 residents – the majority of them living on Harriers View – have been informed about the plan, and there are no planning notices posted within the park so Mr Cheeseman hopes to raise public awareness.

Mr Cheeseman said: “I’m looking to see if there are any covenants or by-laws or any way we can stop any house building, if there is any in the future.

“In other words I’m looking at all angles before it all happens because if we allow 23 car parking spots on there, my point of view is what next?”

The land is owned by Banbury Town Council.

Cllr Kieron Mallon, who is a town and district councillor for the ward and leader of the town council, stated that the new car park is part of a year-long, £350,000 refurbishment of the park, which has been budgeted for this year, and will only be open for use at limited times.

Cllr Mallon said: “This small car park is necessary to overcome parking problems in roads near Easington Recreation Ground and will accommodate people who use the park for sport at the weekends.

“The car park plan has been carefully considered and is the best solution for the area as a whole. I can only assume that anyone objecting to this is not fully informed of the correct details and is jumping to conclusions that are not correct.

“The car park is part of a £350,000 modernisation of Easington Rec. The car park will take up less than four per cent of the recreation area.”

Cllr Mallon continued: “It will be open only on Saturdays and/or Sundays when football matches take place on the rec’s two full-sized pitches. For the rest of the time, and during the summer, it will be locked.

“Schools are closed at weekends so there is no risk to pupils, there’s probably more danger now with cars parking on grass verges in residential roads.”

Mr Cheeseman is proposing that car parking problems in the area could better be addressed via the addition of double yellow lines, a residents’ permit parking scheme or conditions incorporated into Easington Park football pitch rental agreements that all participants park in Calthorpe Street or on the Oxford Road/South Bar.

Cllr Mallon added: “The nearby Horton View sports field hosts football, tennis, cricket and bowls matches, which overlap at the ends and beginnings of seasons. It has a small car park which causes no problems to residents.”

Residents have until June 8 to comment on the plans by searching for application 17/00997/F via the CDC planning page.