Cradley scrubland set for makeover

SCRUBLAND in Cradley could be transformed into a community garden and children’s play area.

Dudley Council has earmarked £28,000 towards a scheme to bring two acres of land off Beeches View Avenue into public use.

Hayley Green and Cradley South councillors Ken and Hazel Turner have launched a campaign to drum up support from residents of the nearby Fatherless Barn estate and Drews Holloway area.

They are delivering 1,250 leaflets urging people to volunteer to form a friends group, which they say is essential to move the plans forward.

Cllr Ken Turner said: “We need to get at least six people to come forward as we have to show community involvement.”

He said after 10 years of campaigning, the council had agreed to provide Section 106 funding, which is given by developers for community projects, and to apply for match funding from outside sources such as European grants.

The husband and wife team have been keen for the land, which is next to Cradley Town FC, to be used to comply with the policy of public open space being within a quarter of mile walk of all residential areas.

Details of the scheme have yet to be finalised and Cllr Turner said it would be for the friends group to decide priorities, as funding would probably be phased over a couple of years.

He said: “It would be down to the residents to agree on what to focus on – whether to go for a children’s play area first or a community garden or a little of both.”

Cllr Turner said it was hoped there could also be a BMX track incorporated into the plans for older children.

He said: “There was a play area there previously, but it wasn’t up to much – just made with logs and a rubbish layout, which the children damaged.

“We want the kids to be involved in the design of this to get what they want and adults too, so it’s what everyone wants.

“The aim is to create more cohesion and co-operation between adults and children.”

Although the facility will be maintained by Dudley Council, Cllr Turner said it was important the community take ownership of it to ensure it is preserved and protected for future generations.

Anyone interested in joining a friends group should contact either councillor on 0121 5013930 or email cllr.kenneth.turner@dudley.gov.uk or cllr.hazel.turner@dudley.gov.uk

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