NEIGHBOURS are to be consulted over major plans to extend and improve Hardshaw Park.

The park is in an area outlined for housing development, which is an essential component in the plan and would help to fund the works.

Plans include a new junior football pitch, play area, toddlers' play area and major landscaping to include walks, sitting areas and places of ecological interest.

The current park would be extended on to a former council works depot to provide a 'green' zone with links to the periphery of the town centre.

One feature will be a 'green framed' view from the park of Billinge Beacon, a local site of historical interest and one of the chain of beacons across the country.

Councillor Terry Hanley, St Helens Council's Portfolio Member for Environmental Protection, said: "Residents in the area are being sent details of outline suggestions, but it will be their views and ideas which help shape the future of the park, which will provide better leisure and environmental facilities.

"This is a consultation exercise and the council is looking for comments and support before any decisions are taken."

A pack is being sent to residents, which includes a pre-paid envelope, for their comments to be sent to the council. And a display outlining ideas will be on view at theTown Hall until the end of the month.