1:22pm Tuesday 8th January 2013
By Emma Cruces
A BID to sell off a woodland entrance as parking space has angered community volunteers.
Looking after the land, at Edge End, Great Harwood, has been an ongoing project for volunteers from the area’s Prospects Panel since 2008.
Now proposals which would see it sold for parking have angered volunteers who gave up their time to revamp the area.
Hyndburn Council is currently reviewing ‘parcels’ of land which cost the borough money in terms of maintainance and upkeep.
A recent review has seen watchdog councillors recommend selling the land, at the entrance to Edge End Wood.
Volunteers, who have put in dozens of hours of work, and spent hundreds of pounds from grants and lottery funding at the site, say they hope the plan falls through.
However, ward councillor Ian Robinson said there was a parking shortage that could be addressed by the plan.
A council report claims the land requires costly foliage clearance due to the patch creating a barrier to motorists’ sight line while driving down Edge End.
The report said the council should investigate selling the land, which falls between two car parks, to an interested local resident.
The plan would see the loss of two wild fruit trees on the site, which volunteers say feed local wildlife in winter.
Prospects volunteer Barbara Sharples said the group had conserved hedgerows, planted bulbs, and created a welcoming entrance to the woodland.
She said: “This is the first we have heard that there is a problem for motorists. If anything, getting rid of the foliage will encourage speeding.
“Volunteers have spent hours and hours of their precious time here, not just doing the actual digging, but maintaining tools, and applying for funding – everything that volunteers do.
“It would be crazy to throw that all away and surface over it.”
However, Coun Robinson said: “There is a shortage of parking here and residents have contacted me as a result. Prospects has its work to do, but mine is to represent local residents.
“It is just a fact of modern life that if residents cannot park near their homes, then they will be taking up parking spaces outside someone else’s house.”
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