Residents’ fury at park scheme

Ashfield Park
Ashfield Park
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RESIDENTS are demanding a referendum over controversial housing sell-off plans for a Wigan park.

More than 300 people packed into a Standish public meeting last night (Monday) and heard new claims that much of what is now Ashfield Rec was legally gifted to the people of the village - via the former Urban District Council - over half a century ago.

Campaign leader Gareth Fairhurst has now lodged a Freedom of Information order to reveal ancient covenants he claims are attached to preserving the popular football fields and play park site.

To rousing cheers he insisted: “My information is a lot of it just isn’t the Metro’s to sell, so we, the people of Standish, need our say if that is what they are thinking of doing.”

The meeting inside Standish Unity Club formed an action group, unveiled a protest website and agree to make a legal Village Green Status application which could protect Ashfield from housing inpertuity.

Supporters also now plan to organise a protest march on the town hall.

The furore was triggered by a discovery by Mr Fairhurst and his father, Standish Independent Coun George Fairhurst, that developers Morris Homes have started talks with town hall chiefs about developing Ashfield, one of the borough most desirable housing spots.

Under the developer’s proposals, the existing sport facilities would be moved to the Morris Homes owned Standish Golf Club, on the edge of the village off Rectory Lane, which closed under mysterious circumstances a few weeks ago.