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Fighting to keep the trees in Shirley Park

OVER 300 people turned out at a protest last weekend - hitting out a plans to pull down trees and hedgerow in Shirley Park.

OVER 300 people turned out at a protest last weekend - hitting out a plans to pull down trees and hedgerow in Shirley Park.

The greenery, which screens the park from the Stratford Road, is threatened by the Parkgate scheme - to redevelop the town centre.

In spite of the miserable weather, residents turned out in full-force and urged people to sign a petition against the proposals.

Organisers said that the demonstration wasn’t against Parkgate as a whole, but the impact that the development would have on the park.

A recent survey said that 98 per cent of shoppers were against the plans to cut down the vegetation.

Trevor Eames, from Solihull Ratepayers, said: “We hope that the scheme can be modified and the council won’t repeat the mistakes they made over building on Tudor Grange Park which proved so unpopular.”

The protesters called for the park’s “rural character” to be maintained and the plans to build apartments overlooking the green space to be scrapped altogether.

Neill Watts, from Solihull and Meriden Residents Association (SAMRA), welcomed the high turn-out. He said it showed “fighting spirit” in the local community.

Defending the plans, Robert Birch, from developers Shirley Advance, said that the impact on parkland was unavoidable.

“We have managed to minimise the loss of parkland and open space and we have allocated more than adequate compensation in terms of qualitative improvements.”

A number of local groups and politicians have lent their backing to the “Save the Shirley Park Trees” campaign.

Among them are Shirley Residents’ Association, Solihull Ratepayers Association, Solihull Tree Wardens, MP Lorely Burt, MEP Nikki Sinclaire and Shirley’s ward councillors.

 

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