Debate goes on over village green status
REFERENCE "Why Friends want Village Green Status" in the letters page of last week's Gazette, the writer appears to be upset with being associated with the Friends of Tor Leisure.
I thought Mr O'Rourke was a founder member of this group who were engaged in a community led plan in competition with Avalon Leisure and then present it to Mendip District Council.
As for not having a vested interest surely like myself there is a need for him and some of his colleagues who live in close proximity to the Tor Leisure complex by living on the Mill Stream estate and Benedict Street suggesting they do have a vested interest in not wanting any development on the Benedict playing field.
Wyrral Park is the name of the bowls club which is on a separate lease.
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I agree that Avalon Leisure has, in its brief tenure, made credible improvements to its main bar and lounge, and with the implementation of a new kitchen.
But this organisation's future plans to develop the external sport and leisure facilities will be seriously affected if the town green application is approved, in perpetuity literally means forever. I believe Avalon Leisure who are seeking a 30-year lease will probably honour their existing lease (2015) and go, and who would blame them.
Sorry to repeat myself Mr O'Rourke but as mentioned in my previous letter, Glastonbury Town Council, at their August council meeting, voted against residential and industrial development on the Benedict playing field and at a special meeting again in August voted against a town green status.
But whatever Mr O'Rourke, September 2 was the closing date to register for or against the application of town green status at Somerset County Council.
So added to your group's scaremongering with your threats of not obeying your voting instructions, it all seems juvenile, but please yourself. The names as you probably know are on the Glastonbury Town Council's website.
REGARDING the village green application for the field at the Benedict Street end of Tor Leisure, Glastonbury, it has come to my attention in recent days that the section of this field immediately adjoining Benedict St has already been designated as a "site where development is currently accepted in principle" by Mendip in their "Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment" (SHLAA).
If anyone was still harbouring any lingering doubts that Mendip was seriously considering development on this site, and has been for some years now, this document should quickly dispel them, particularly when viewed in conjunction with the study by Baker Associates in Mendip's SHLAA of 2005 which observed: "... land values for housing are sufficiently high, at around £1million to £1.2 million/acre, to ensure viability", and that "this site is targeted by Mendip District Council's housing department for an affordable housing scheme including flats and terraced houses at a relatively high density."
For local residents who have for some years now been scratching their heads as to why the tennis courts have been allowed to go to rack and ruin, as to why the changing rooms were sold off to the Sea Cadets some years back, and as to why the long-gone playground equipment has never been replaced, I think we now have an answer.
Unless Mendip voluntarily adopts a scheme to guarantee the land as an open space (as suggested in your pages last week by Mr O'Rourke) we have little option but to assume the field is still under threat, and must therefore continue to do everything we can to protect it for future generations.
Village Green applicant
Former Benedict Street resident