A CIRCUS has rolled into a whole lot of trouble after upsetting residents with a change of venue.
Planet Circus was due to begin a series of shows in Seaburn this week at the former fairground site on the seafront.
But a last-minute change of location to nearby Recreation Park has left some neighbours seeing red.
Concerns have been raised that residents will face problems due to circus customers parking around the site when the shows start today.
Jill Moreland, who has relatives living in Westcliffe Road, close to the park, said: “It’s hard enough to get parked here normally, this is just going to make things twice as bad.
“I don’t have anything against the circus, but they really should have picked somewhere with a car park.”
Hannah Simpson, 68, of Seaburn, added: “The funfair is just sitting empty and is much easier to access.
“I’m more worried about the noise than the parking.” Councillor George Howe, from the Fulwell ward, said: “I’ve been speaking to a number of people concerned about the car parking situation.
“There is already a problem with parking in this particular area, and this is only going to exacerbate that issue.
“Holding the circus at the funfair ground made sense because there is plenty of parking in the car park at the rear.
“Or even moving it to the field next to Morrisons would have made more sense.”
Billed as the “UK’s number one family circus,” the show is due to run daily during the next two weeks.
But while some residents have expressed concern, others say the park should be used for such events. Vince Richardson, who runs Mayfield Guest House in Sea Lane, overlooking the park, said: “I’ve been here for 20 years and think it’s fine for them to be here.
“After all, this park is a public space so should be used for this type of thing.
“We had the Chinese State Circus here the other year and there were no problems.
“We’ve had all types of events on the field, and I haven’t had any problems.
“The road is wide enough for cars to park.”
Councillor James Blackburn, cabinet member for city services, said: “The organisers did look at setting up the circus on the funfair site, but decided Recreation Park was the better option as the circus is more used to performing on a grassed area of land.
“Visitors to the circus will be clearly signposted to free parking behind the Seaburn Centre, and if there are any breaches of existing seafront parking restrictions we will look to take action against these.”