Jubilee field - just a ‘dogs’ toilet’

PUBLISHED: 08:13 27 March 2013 | UPDATED: 08:13 27 March 2013

Axminster's 'Jubilee Field' - still mostly used by dogs. Photo Chris Carson

Axminster's 'Jubilee Field' - still mostly used by dogs. Photo Chris Carson


Frustration grows over delays in creating Axminster’s ‘royal park’

Frustration is mounting over delays in establishing Axminster’s new recreation area to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

It is planned to turn the former St Mary’s Hospital field into a leafy park, with seats, and a play area for children, to mark the 60th anniversary of the monarch’s reign.

But almost a year on from the royal celebrations the hoped-for ‘Jubilee Field’ remains little more than a dog’s toilet, town councillors were told.

Speaking during the public forum at the council’s recent meeting, one nearby resident said the field was being used simply as somewhere for people to let their pets out.

“No children will want to play there,” she warned.

Deputy mayor Jeremy Walden said that when the field was formally established as a recreation area dogs would be banned – and in the meantime he said land owners Betterment Homes should be asked to put up signs saying they were not welcome.

“They should not be there,” he added.

In his report as chairman of the amenities committee to the annual parish meeting last week, Cllr Walden expressed his disappointment at the delays.

He said: “The Jubilee Field is taking longer than expected – not least because the development has not yet reached a stage where it can be handed over.

“It has been agreed with the developers, Betterment Homes, that the park will be left as it is rather than be levelled off, with a LEAP [Local Equipped Area of Play] near the houses and a walking and an informal kickabout area for the rest, as opposed to a formal football pitch.”

In the meantime, Cllr Walden said the town council had agreed in principle that future planning gain money, such as Section 106 cash provided by developers, would be split between two projects.

The first was to improve and upgrade the skatepark at Cloakham, which will be independently managed.

And the second would be the proposed all-weather pitch at Axe Vale Community College. He added: “Once we receive details of what monies may be available this will be put out to consultation before a final strategic decision is taken by the town council.”

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