Plea to council over use of ‘rundown’ land in Ilkeston

Vandals have targeted the public toilets on Strutt Street, Belper.
Vandals have targeted the public toilets on Strutt Street, Belper.

Calls have been made to develop a ‘rundown’ area of land in Ilkeston.

Erewash borough councillor Danny Treacy, who represents the Cotmanhay ward for Labour, said residents wanted the area at the bottom end of Tesco’s car park to be used for activities promoting fitness for young people.

In a question put to a meeting of the council last month, the shadow lead member for culture said: “The piece of land known as ‘Jonny’s’ is becoming what some may call ‘a rundown piece of land’.

“Labour councillors in the summer asked local residents if they would want the council to develop the land into a more usable space. An overwhelming number of people said they would like to see the land used in a more productive way, in particular to see the land used for activities that promote fitness for young people.

“Will the council look at a future change of use and development for the land that takes in the public’s wishes to promote fitness and help combat obesity in line with the government’s current recommendations?”

Responding to the question, council leader Chris Corbett confirmed the authority would indeed look into the possibility of a future change of use and development of the land.

He said the council had recently spent considerable funds to improve the play areas on Cobden Street, Long Eaton; Sawley Park; Hayworth Park, Sandiacre; and Wirksworth Road, Kirk Hallam to promote fitness and help combat obesity.

“The total capital cost of these four play areas alone was £188,000, of which £53,000 was found from external funding, leaving £135,000 which was found from the council’s capital reserves,” he replied.

“In addition, the total cost of the new skateboard park in Kirk Hallam came to some £137,000, of which £93,000 was found in outside grants leaving £44,000 to come from the council’s capital resources.

“Nor do these figures include the Bare Lane play area in Ockbrook which is also benefitting from £50,000 of council resources. On top of these capital costs there is also considerable revenue expenditure each and every year on repairs and maintenance.”

He added: “It can therefore be seen that this Conservative council is continuing to put a great deal of money into developments which help residents’ fitness and reduce obesity.”