26th Jun, 2019

Funfair in protected Coventry park set for go-ahead - despite protests

Felix Nobes 10th Jun, 2019 Updated: 10th Jun, 2019

PLANS for a funfair on a protected Coventry park have been recommended for council approval despite more than 180 residents signing petitions in protest.

A Coventry City Council meeting to consider a petition drawn up by people living near Stoke Green Park, off Binley Road, is to be held on Tuesday, June 18.

Council officers are recommending the go-ahead despite residents’ fears over noise, litter, parking and damage to the well-used park – which is situated in a conservation area.

Deputy council leader Abdul Khan – who as we reported recently visited residents to hear their arguments – will cast the final decision on the controversial funfair plans.

More than 70 residents have signed the paper petition while an online petition on the council’s website has been signed by 63 people only hours after going live.

A further 50 plus have signed a petition on Change.org demanding the council ‘rethink’ the plans.

But a report from the council’s head of streetpride and greenspace, Graham Hood, says the funfair should go ahead anyway.

It states: “The option not to allow the funfair to be held at Stoke Green Park has been considered however this has been rejected.

“The parks budget was reduced by £1million from 2016 and it is important that the service explores opportunities to generate and increase income.

“It is considered that Stoke Green Park is an appropriate location to hold a suitably sized funfair as offered by Tommy Wilson’s Funfairs and the option to allow the event to go ahead is recommended.”

The report admits that noise will be inevitable at the funfair which will run from 5pm to 9:30pm on weekdays, 1pm to 9:30pm on the Saturday, and 1pm to 7pm on the Sunday.

Residents add that a funfair would be inappropriate for the park which is much smaller than regular venues such as Longford and Edgwick parks.

They also say that roughly half the popular park would be closed to residents for a week, and that important features of the park could be damaged – including a newly-created avenue of trees and a green man tree sculpture (paid for by residents).

They allege that council officers have admitted the funfair would add only about £500 to the authority’s coffers.

But the residents say they have raised over £150,000 over many years to fund improvements to Stoke Green and nearby Gosford parks.

Chair of Gosford Park Residents’ Association Corinne Spencer – one of three residents’ groups objecting to the proposal – said the report was highly misleading.

She added: “We are not nimbies – we have worked hard over many years to raise money for improvements to our local parks, all of which have been aimed at encouraging families and local people to enjoy them.

“We keep telling the council we’d be very happy to work with them on ways of raising money which would be appropriate to the park. If this funfair goes ahead it will seem like a kick in the teeth. People will wonder why they bothered.”

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