Man’s court threat over park project
A FURIOUS resident said he plans to report Crawley Borough Council to the Secretary of State over approval of an application which would see public toilets re-opened close to his home.
The opening of the toilets as well as community facilities at Ridley Court, Pound Hill, would be paid for out of a £2.4million Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant given to Crawley Borough Council to revamp nearby Worth Park.
But at recent meetings of the development control committee, residents raised concerns about loss of privacy, the potential for antisocial behaviour and a lack of consultation.
The application was deferred once but a request for a second delay was turned down.
Gregory Stringer, who has already taken legal advice over the proposed changes, has predicted that, should he succeed in gaining a court order to stop the work, it may jeopardise the entire HLF project.
He said: “This was never our intention as the residents at Ridley Court originally supported the park’s restoration but the residents’ concerns have been consistently side-lined throughout the so-called consultation period and, consequently through no fault of our own we find ourselves denied access to that consultation and thrown into an unnecessary legal battle with the council putting the whole project in jeopardy.”
He added: “We will be making a complaint to the Secretary of State for this miscarriage of justice and total disregard of all the values in the Human Rights Act that provide the foundations to make our society safe and secure for family and private life.
“We will also be informing the Secretary of State that the council did not complete a risk assessment under the Children’s Act 2004 for the safeguarding of our children in a modern day setting, especially when the council plans to install public toilets directly under our flats and next a our children’s play area.”
A Crawley Borough Council spokesperson said: “We have not received any further correspondence from the resident regarding the proposal for Ridleys Court.
“The Heritage Lottery Fund is aware a resident is unhappy with the proposals but this is a discussion between the resident and Crawley Council and will not impact on the bid at this stage.”
Stuart McLeod, head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East, said: “These works, once complete, will have real benefits for the local community – rejuvenating this much-loved green space for everyone to spend time in and enjoy.”
See letter, page 6: ‘Lack of regard for resident’s privacy’.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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