Mansfield mayor confident of Berry Hill Park solution

Hopes for the future of an under-threat Mansfield park have been boosted.

Berry Hill Park is set to close later this month after trustees announced they could no longer afford its upkeep.

Berry Hill Park.

Berry Hill Park.

The trustees have declared that unless Mansfield District Council steps in to become "corporate trustees" of the park, the park will have to close for good.

However Kate Allsop, Mansfield mayor, has boosted hopes of the park staying open after suggesting that the council is "very keen" to ensure the park is protected by becoming corporate trustees.

READ MORE: More trouble for Berry Hill Park as football dugout damaged.

She said: “Mansfield District Council is very keen to ensure Berry Hill Park remains open as it’s such a valuable green space.

Berry Hill Park protest

Berry Hill Park protest

“A meeting is planned for November 22 and I have asked the trustees to keep the park open until November 30, which they have agreed to.

"No decisions have been made, but we are considering whether we could become corporate trustees which would be the quickest and simplest way for the council to assist.

"If we do become trustees, we couldn’t turn it around overnight, but we know what needs to be done to ensure the park remains open.

"We don’t want the park to close. It’s important we fight for this park and I know the residents will absolutely back the council and help us.

Berry Hill Park protest

Berry Hill Park protest

"I know everybody is behind us and that’s wonderful.”

It comes after hundreds of residents protested the park’s closure, demanding that a solution is found.

More than 300 people attended the protest and a petition was signed by everybody in attendance, calling for the park to be protected "at all costs".

READ MORE: Hundreds of residents unite to protect Berry Hill Park from closure.

Berry Hill Park protest

Berry Hill Park protest

Three councillors have also called on the council to draw up a business plan and take over management of the popular park altogether.

Councillor Stephen Garner, Coun Andy Sissons and Coun Sid Walker put forward a motion to the authority, suggesting council ownership is “the only option” to prevent the park from closing.

Coun Garner said: “Berry Hill Park was given to the people to belong the people, and not for the purpose of profit or building developments.

“We have put called for a business plan which sees the council take over control of the park - including ownership, maintenance and control.

“It will cost the council between £40,000 and £60,000 each year, and from the rally at the weekend it is clear closure is not an option so this is important.

“The council stepping in now is the only way to protect this park.”