Major work is under way on the Garnets pocket park in Beeston, and the next door Tunstall Road playground has been removed (to become relocated onto the Garnets space) – but residents have expressed anger that the work has been conducted with little or no warning or consultation.
The playground – just behind the Vale Circles Centre on Tunstall Road – was removed out of the blue in mid February. Locals then found the Garnet pocket park – opposite the new housing development – fenced off and dug up the following week (Wednesday 21 February), and several of the trees there were cut down.
Online and off, residents have expressed frustration and disbelief that these works happened with little or no warning. There was a consultation event back in the autumn, but many locals insist they never got any invitation to it – and attendees report that information at it was very sketchy, and that for instance the removal of the playground wasn’t even mentioned.
Council officers have now confirmed the plans: the playground is due to be re-installed on part of the refurbished Garnet green space, whilst the former site of the playground is set to become an edible garden run by Vale Circles and other local partners and residents. It seems that local frustration is reducing as information gets out, but many residents are nonetheless calling for different processes in future.
Michelle, a local resident, spoke for many when she told us:
“It’s great news that the green patch is set to be improved, but it’s such a shame no-one thought to tell local residents.
“People were really taken aback and upset – especially those who regularly used these areas. Local people have plenty of ideas for the scheme – like more benching, and fitness units – but the Council didn’t do enough to reach out and involve us.
“I look forward to seeing the end result, but it would have been so much better if the community could have helped develop it. Can we do things differently in future?”