Petanque park plan sparks war of words

Cllr Brenda Burgess says the serenity of Memorial Gardens would be destroyed if a petanque pitch was made there. Pic Steve Robards  SR1607838 SUS-160703-161817001
Cllr Brenda Burgess says the serenity of Memorial Gardens would be destroyed if a petanque pitch was made there. Pic Steve Robards SR1607838 SUS-160703-161817001

Councillors have exchanged a war of words after it was revealed a petanque pitch will be created in the Memorial Gardens.

Cllr Brenda Burgess (Con, Three Bridges) said the serenity of the town’s award-winning park would be destroyed by the French boules pitch. She added: “I am also concerned that this beautiful area will be spoiled to such an extent that Crawley Memorial Gardens loses its award for excellence from Britain in Bloom.”

She asked why townspeople had not been consulted about the bid.

Cllr Chris Mullins (Lab, Gossops Green), cabinet member for Wellbeing, admitted he only consulted councillors on the £2,000 project to make the 15m by 4m gravel pitch near the County Mall end of The Heroes Walk - a floral tribute which commemorates the centenary of World War One.

Cllr Mullins, who has two petanque sets, said the First World War’s Fallen would ‘love’ to see people playing the game and other plans to have entertainment in the park. He enthused about the game and said up to six people had contacted him expressing an interest in having a pitch in town. He said it would take ‘half a day’ and cost ‘next to nothing’ to replace it with grass if it were found to be unpopular. He said: “It’s just a little trial to see if there’s interest in it. I thought the best thing to do was to find somewhere central to start with.

“We could then look at if it’s feasible to put it in other areas. Brenda Burgess has got the idea that the Memorial Gardens is a cemetery.”

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