Save West Park support vital

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Well done to the Echo on its excellent three-page coverage of the threat to West Park, Middle Herrington (Campaigning To Save Park – August 21).

The feeling of opposition to this potential housing scheme in Herrington by residents and ex-Herringtonians whose hearts remain in the village they grew up on is tangible.

People are greatly concerned at the prospect of losing this wonderful, beautiful, peaceful and historic piece of land, which contributes to Herrington’s semi rural feel and outlook.

For it to be taken away would indeed be an act of indefensible municipal vandalism, which would make an absolute mockery of the ethos and reason d’être of Sunderland’s 2021 City of Culture bid, whose aim in broad terms is to create a better, more progressive city for us all to reside in.

The whole fight to stop West Park becoming another money making development scheme by those involved (who will never live in or have any emotional feelings for Herrington and it’s environs) is wide reaching.

Firstly, there is the strategic argument surrounding issues like added pollution and traffic increase from already excessively busy roads, with the busy Doxford International roundabout down to the Board Inn public house a prime example, plus the fact that the houses down West Park itself already suffer from it being used as a rat run by cars, vans and HGVs.

Then there’s the question of the local primary school already being used to capacity, and a host of other issues that will affect the area.

Secondly, there is the fact that losing this space would affect people’s well being as it is an oasis of calm and scenic tranquility that many, many people enjoy, an escape from their daily rat race and the pressures of modern life.

Thirdly, there’s all the youngsters who play football and cricket there as many of us did as kids as well as the joggers, the walkers, the dog walkers and the environmental concerns over wildlife such as bats, owls and the many ancient trees of fantastic aesthetic beauty.

The residents of Herrington do not want confrontation with the authorities over this issue and hope that common sense and decency will prevail and that the scheme will be consigned to the dustbin of ill conceived ideas.

Conversely, however, there is also an ‘over my dead body’ sense of feeling from the good folk of Herrington in opposition to this potentially brutal, depressing and hair-brained scheme.

For further information and how to register your opposition to this plan and future meetings etc, a new website is now up and running, visit www.myherrington.org

The more people who register their opposition and attend meetings and help in any way they can is vital to the fight.

Tom Lynn