Park saga resolved at last

A SAGA surrounding a park in the centre of Alnwick has finally been resolved, after developers agreed to surrender their lease and hand it over to the county council.

The paperwork to free Charles Church’s lease on the Swansfield Park was completed and the authority’s Neighbourhood Services has now taken over responsibility for maintaining the park and play area.

The company agreed to create the park as part of a planning permission for the neighbouring Windsor Park housing development, which was built on a former Alnwick District Council depot.

But problems emerged with the maintenance of the land, resulting in the play area being closed last year because of health and safety fears.

As part of the agreement to surrender the lease, Charles Church carried out all outstanding repairs to the play area and also did some planting throughout the park.

The company also made a payment to cover costs of bringing the park back up to the original specification and to cover maintenance costs for what would have been the remainder of their lease period.

Coun Gordon Castle said: “This is a satisfactory outcome in the best interests of everyone. The council now has a direct influence on the park and any future problems can be resolved through its elected members.”

Carys Thomas, chairman of Alnwick Community Development Trust, said: “We have liaised very closely with the county council as we have a strong interest in the park and its future development.

“We are really pleased that everything has been sorted out, we’re very happy with the outcome and I think it will result in better ongoing maintenance and protection for the park.”