Friends would help protect Old Town Rec future

Old Town Recreation Ground Eastbourne. August 21st 2012 E34024N

Old Town Recreation Ground Eastbourne. August 21st 2012 E34024N

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CAMPAIGNERS who fought to stop a school being built within an Eastbourne recreation ground are continuing their fight to keep it as open space.

Two years ago Old Town Recreation Ground was considered a potential location for a new school – much to the anger of local residents.

Part of it was earmarked by East Sussex County Council in 2010 as being ideal for a new primary school for Old Town schoolchildren to meet what the council called an “overwhelming need” for school places and to ease the pressure on Ocklynge, Pashley Down and Motcombe schools.

But hundreds of people opposed the development, a petition was sent to the county council and it was eventually shelved by the authorities after a fierce backlash by residents living in the roads surrounding the park.

Now people living near the park are setting up a Friends of Old Town Rec group which will hold its inaugural hour long meeting on Friday, September 7.

The aim of the group, says campaigner George Collier, is to protect the park as an open space, especially since it has been nominated as a Queen Elizabeth II Field.

Mr Collier said, “Recently, the members of an interim organising group met with officers from Eastbourne Borough Council, the landholder, and ward councillors to discuss setting up a Friends group to help preserve and enhance the quality of the open space for the benefit of residents, visitors and all users.

“We hope the many neighbours and users of the park will attend to have their say.”

Also on the agenda will be a discussion about a potential centenary project to celebrate the 100-year anniversary in 2013 of the purchase of the original recreation ground adjacent to Longland Road by the then County Borough of Eastbourne.

The meeting is at 7.30pm in The Drive Pub, Victoria Drive. Anyone wishing to attend can call Mr Collier on 07798538290 or email gcollier@edma.org.uk