Families bid to stop sale of one of Newbottle’s last green spaces

Lauren Nixon and fellow residents are opposed to the council sale of land in Newbottle.
Lauren Nixon and fellow residents are opposed to the council sale of land in Newbottle.
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Angry families staged a gathering at their ‘Field of Dreams’ in protest at Sunderland City Council’s decision to sell off the land.

Residents met at Newbottle playing fields, north of Blind Lane, near Sunniside, yesterday, in an effort to spread the word of the plan to sell off the green space.

It followed a public notice in the Echo on Monday announcing that the local authority intends to dispose of the land near Newbottle Primary School.

The meeting was organised by Meadow View resident and mother Lauren Nixon, 26, who is concerned that one of the last green spaces in the area may be taken away from families who rely on it as a safe place for their children to play.

She said: “The reason we moved here was because of the fields around, many of which have been sold and have been built on.

“We thought at least we have the Newbottle field as a bit of green space, so when we found out about this it was gutting.”

Lauren, who takes her one-year-old son up to the field for daily walks, added: “I feel like the council are going against themselves because they need to provide green spaces, as well as tackling the issue of childhood obesity, which can be combated by having spaces like this for children to play out on.

“I am also hoping to get my son into Newbottle nursery, so the increase in traffic and site access issues, should a development go ahead, are also a concern.”

Lauren, like many residents, said she only found out about the council proposal when it appeared as a public notice in the Echo.

She decided to organise the meeting in the hope of raising awareness of the issue among residents.

“I went with another resident and knocked on doors letting them know,” she said. “We also went around houses and gave out objection letters and told people about the proposal.

“I am hopeful that we will get enough objections.”

Council chiefs say nothing has been decided yet about what will happen to the land. Written objections must be sent before 4pm tomorrow.