Save Bonsall Park. Have your say now.

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This petition is addressed to the Diocese of Derby to ask it to secure, sell or lease the existing Village Park to the Village in perpetuity for recreational purposes.

Bonsall Village has had a recreation ground and car park for over 100 years. The Park is at the centre of the village and village life revolves around it. It is owned by the Diocese of Derby, which has leased the land to different public bodies and councils on behalf of the village. Known locally as “Park Bottom”, the Park has a green area, with football pitch and village-funded children’s play equipment, and an adjoining area that has recently been resurfaced by the Village, which is used for parking.

Derbyshire Dales District Council held the lease to Park Bottom, but that has now expired. The Diocese has said that it will not sell the vehicle park to Bonsall Village as it ‘may be suitable for future development, such as affordable housing’. Neither will it lease the vehicle park to the Parish Council, unless there is a break clause that would allow the Diocese to take it back at short notice for development.


The Parish Council wants to secure the entire park and car park for the Village in perpetuity for recreational purposes. It has consulted village residents and, from the responses received so far, 100% of residents support this. The majority of respondents want to set up a Community Trust to own and manage the Park. The Parish Council also wants to raise funds to improve the Park for children of all ages, but it cannot do this without the security of ownership.


We call on the Diocese to allow Bonsall people to have control over this important village amenity for the foreseeable future.

 
The Parish Council has informed the Diocese of the wide range of community uses that the land is put to, and the negative impacts that developing the land would bring. But so far this has not changed the decision. The issues and concerns that have been identified include:

-loss of the annual village carnival, which has been held for over 90 years on this site. For the last 20 years, there has also been a spectacular firework display to mark the end of Carnival Week, which would not be able to continue;
-loss of off-street parking for visiting walkers and tourists, and consequent impact on local businesses;
-loss of the only available facility for farmers and businesses to transfer supplies from bulk carriers, which are unable to access local farms.
-loss of an overnight lorry parking facility — haulage has been associated with the village and the site for over 80 years;
-traffic congestion due to increased on-street parking in the Park area by visitors and by parents who use the car park as a park-and-walk facility for children attending the village school;
-increased risks to children from more traffic along Church St. at school times;
-increased traffic congestion for St James' Church and its neighbours for the same reason, when people attend weddings, funerals, Christenings, etc;
-loss of essential parking for the annual village Open Gardens and hen racing events.

The Diocese has said that if the Parish Council does not take up the lease offer on the terms specified by the Diocese, the vehicle park will be closed.

 
The Diocese is making its final decision on 26th September. However, it has said that it will take into account further information. This is your last opportunity to influence the decision and make your voice heard.


Survey responses from households in the village are being collated to present their views to the Diocese. However, it is important that we demonstrate to the Diocese that it is not only residents, but also visitors to the village and wider the Dales and Peaks, that will be affected by its decision.

 
Please sign this petition to support our village.



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