I recently read in the Burnley Express that they are going to build a state-of-the-art sport facility on the Prairie Playing Fields.
That’s a good idea but what would have been said if the council had decided to build houses on the land instead? I think the people of that area and some local football teams would be shouting very loudly outside the Town Hall. Or what would have been said if they were to build houses on the former Towneley School site? Again, uproar.
The Prairie area has not been neglected but building new houses in that area is needed.
But why take land that is used for recreational purposes? There are lots of brown field sites in and around Burnley. There is land in Harold Avenue they could use. There is a recreation ground they could use in Venice Street that’s only used for travellers. There is the old school in Venice Street. There is land all around Nairne Street, plus all the land that has not been used in Burnley Wood yet.
Recently in the Express, Mick Cartledge was bragging how good the facilities at St Peter’s are but the children and community of Burnley Wood are being told all that is on offer for them is an old Methodist Church built in 1881 that is not fit for purpose and never will be.
The Labour Council is now putting out a questionnaire to get people’s views and input. This has been done before and they did not listen then and won’t listen now. This is just a PR stunt because there are votes involved, which brings to mind the former Gannow Baths that were closed on the pretext they were losing money. All good and well. The building was then sold to the Queensgate Methodist (or Life Church, as it is known) who then converted it into a church.
At the side of the baths was a play centre, just like the one at Burnley Wood. This was closed about the same time. This was demolished and the land handed over to the church, who decided to build a new church on the adjoining land, what was a playing a fielding.
But these bright people and the Labour Council and the planning department did not know or realise that most of it was land filled with from the dustbins of Burnley. I always thought this a bit dodgy. People in the area strongly objected against the building of the church. The same thing happened then that is happening now in Burnley. The builder Keepmoat said to Burnley Wood Community Group that they could work with the group and the community to incorporate the building into their plans but Julie Cooper blocked this out of utter contempt for the people and community of Burnley Wood. I think it is time for a compromise from the Labour Party. The building and some land or votes. Take your pick.