Playground ripped up to make way for new home

Burnley Wood Park, Glebe Street, Burnley.
Burnley Wood Park, Glebe Street, Burnley.
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Residents in Burnley Wood have been left fuming after a cherished children’s playground was torn down by Burnley Council without any notice.

Workers from the council showed up at the park last Friday to take down swings and remove a roundabout, leaving children heartbroken.

The children are going to miss out, the park is always packed especially during the summer and the school holidays

Sylvia Wilkinson, Glebe Street committee

The park, situated in Dall Street and Glebe Street, is on land earmarked for new homes.

But residents say they received no warning about when the play equipment would be removed and accuse the council of keeping it quiet to stop protests. Sylvia Wilkinson, of Glebe Street committee, said: “We knew the park was going to be torn down at some point, but not at such short notice and without any warning.

“We’ve received nothing, no letters or anything about when it would be torn down. It’s sneaky. I don’t see why they couldn’t just leave it alone until they are ready to build on it, especially with it being so close to the holidays when the kids are off school.”

Residents have been told children should use another nearby park, but Sylvia argues this is not a good enough option as it is situated across a busy road.

“The other park is too far and it’s across Branch Road, which a busy road and a bus route, so children won’t be able to go over there on their own, and we won’t always be able to go with them.

“The children are going to miss out, the park is always packed especially during the summer and the school holidays.”

The move comes 16 months after Burnley Wood Community Centre was controversially demolished, leading to political argument in the town.

However, Burnley Council has denied claims the move to get rid of the park has come without warning.

Coun. John Harbour, Burnley Council’s deputy leader, said: “We have been open about the situation at every stage.

“My report to the Full Council in April clearly stated officers were preparing for the next transfer of land to the developers that covers the remaining land between Branch Road and Glebe Street.

“In relation to play facilities for children, there is a new purpose-built Burnley Wood Neighbourhood Park, off Oxford Road, in Brunswick Street, around 200m away from the play area which is now being dismantled.”

As building work begins, residents can expect to see fencing being put up on the frontages in Dall Street, Glebe Street and Kirkgate, the closure of Parkinson Street, and tree felling.