Mansfield MP meets with Berry Hill Park trustees

Mansfield MP Ben Bradley has posted a statement on his social media sites, to inform residents that he has met with the trustees of Berry Hill Park.

The Trustees of Berry Hill park officially announced that the park will be closing this month due to the lack of finances available to meet its current debts, and to meet its ongoing liabilities and maintenance repair costs.

Mansfield MP meets with Berry Hill Park trustees

Mansfield MP meets with Berry Hill Park trustees

The meeting yesterday (November 9) came just a day before residents and councillors staged a protest in the park to oppose the closure.

READ MORE: Trustees announce Berry Hill Park Closure
After a planning application to build homes on a section of the park – which would have netted the thousands of pounds for maintenance – was rejected at a meeting of the council’s planning applications committee, it faces closure.

Mr Bradley met with Trustees, and has also spoken to CISWO, who own the land.

Mr Bradley wrote in his statement: "Yesterday I met with Trustees of Berry Hill Park in order to talk through the challenges that have lead to the proposed closure of the park.

"It's important to recognise that this is not a normal publicly owned park but is in fact private land that is run and managed by Trustees, who take on all the risks and liabilities of opening the site up to the public.

"With that in mind I can quite understand why they are increasingly struggling to be able to take on all of those risks without the adequate funds or support.

"They are just volunteers at the end of the day.

"There have obviously been a number of issues with the management of the park that have lead us to here, and in truth all organisations involved have failed in various ways.

READ MORE: Protest against Berry Hill Park closure

"I've also spoken to the CEO of CISWO, the organisation who own the land, and this weekend I will speak with Council representatives in order to try and help broker some kind of sensible short term solution to keep it open, so that we can deal with the ongoing challenges.

"The short term dispute rests around planning permission for 8 houses which would take up 0.6 per cent of the land at the park, but would also clear the debts and put money in the bank to keep it running.

"Safeguards could be built in to that to ensure it does not lead to further development on the future.

"Clearing the debt makes it a much more viable prospect for the council or another body to take on and manage in the long term.

READ MORE: What now for Berry Hill Park?
"I'm concerned that the alternative, if that funding or help cannot be sourced from either those homes or elsewhere, is closure which leaves or derelict or could lead to the land being sold off.

"That obviously leads to lots of unknown risks for the future.

READ MORE: Residents react to Berry Hill Park closure
"If it's sold off then obviously it could be used for anything.

"That dispute over eight homes could end up being a proposed development of 800 homes if we're not careful.

"It's important we deal with reality here and come to an agreement between the three parties that allows it to stay open, and for improved management to make it viable.

"I will be doing everything I can over the coming weeks to make sure that happens, and MDC are meeting with CISWO and Trustees on November 22.".