Top of page.

Brentwood Liberal Democrats

We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off

New hope in bid to stop Go Ape plan for park

March 4, 2008 6:00 PM
By Sarah Swain in Glasgow Evening Times
Karen in Thorndon Park with her dog Gypsy

Karen in Thorndon Park, Brentwood, with Gypsy, her dog

PROTESTERS fighting to have plans for an aerial assault course thrown out have been given new hope of a victory.

The campaigners have learned an English community won its fight against a development similar to the one proposed for Pollok Park in Glasgow.

Members of Save Pollok Park say they are heartened by the fact people in Brentwood, Essex, got a planned Go Ape adventure course rejected by Essex County Council two years ago - after hundreds objected.

Like the Pollok Park plan, that Go Ape course had been recommended for approval by planning officers but councillors turned it down after getting 250 objection letters.

The Essex victory emerged just after the city council's planning committee yesterday delayed making a decision on the Pollok plan - deciding instead to visit the proposed site and hold a hearing to allow both sides their say.

As reported in later editions of the Evening Times yesterday, protesters turned out for the meeting to make a last-ditch plea to councillors.

Save Pollok Park, which is opposed to Go Ape on the grounds of noise, parking problems, lack of toilets and damage to the environment, said the councillor's decision was "the best it could have hoped for".

And the delay on a decision coupled with news of the Essex campaigners' triumph gave them new hope.

Bill Fraser, from Save Pollok Park, said: "We are aware of what happened in Brentwood and the question to ask is why councillors in Brentwood turned it down because of objections from 250 people - why won't Glasgow City Council even consider reopening the consultation when over 800 letters against the application were received? Where's the democracy?"

He said they would continue their campaign with a protest at the site visit and hearing.

Marketing manager Karen Chilvers, 36, from Brentwood, led protesters to victory in getting Go Ape's plan for Thorndon Country Park in Brentwood rejected.

They had similar worries to the Glasgow campaigners and also held a packed public meeting, a silent protest and sent hundreds of letters.

Karen, who is now a councillor, said: "They wanted to put it in the most commonly used part of the park. They had a site visit and we held a silent protest with about 100 of us walking behind them. We very much felt like the council was trying to push it through.

"One of the things that swung it in the end was finding a family of Great Crested Newts there.

"I think Essex County Council realised in the end it had to listen to the public."

She told the Pollok Park protesters: "Good luck and I hope you get the same result we did."

Go Ape's chief executive Tristram Mayhew says the firm would not harm the environment or trees, would bring more people into the park and give young people something to do.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said the application would be fully considered after the site visit and hearing, which could both take place later this month.