Cradley park wrangle sees Midland Heart branded Midland Heartless

3:28pm Thursday 26th June 2014

CRADLEY retirement village owner Midlands Heart has been branded "Midlands Heartless" for ignoring pleas to improve Homer Hill Park.

Friends of Homer Hill Park, which now is believed to be the only park in the country to have a highway running through it due to the giant complex on the old Cradley High School site, claim the park is in desperate need of footpaths.

Cradley Councillor Richard Body slammed Midland Heart for its stance over the park.

He said: "Midlands Heart should be called Midlands Heartless for what they are doing to Homer Hill Park.

"Due to a deal with Dudley Council they do not have to pay anything towards the community despite the only green space in the town now having a fully working road through the middle of it.

"The Friends of Homer Hill Park have raised over £11,000 improvements and we want a donation from Midlands Heart but they claim they do not have a budget for it.

"This is a company which has over £100 million pound in the bank and is set to make millions from the Cradley retirement village."

Cllr Body is worried disabled and elderly residents will not be able to use the park because of the lack of footpaths.

He said: "These new residents will be my constituents so I have to stick up for them as well as everyone else in Cradley, a park without foothpaths is useless for so many people."

The new £18 million retirement village is being built by William Davis Ltd and when completed will have 120 apartments with facilities for residents including a health centre, bar and hairdressers.

These will be available for rent, shared ownership and outright sale,

Nick Byrne, deputy director of assets at Midland Heart, said: “We have worked closely with the local community on the agreed plans, adjusting them in light of opinions expressed.

"We are carrying out the works in accordance with the planning permission."

He added: "As a not for profit charitable organisation, we hold no budgets for investing in publicly owned land."

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