Calderdale Council proposals to dispose of some land at Centre Vale Park, Todmorden, have caused a stir - but townspeople should not be alarmed, says the authority.
A public notice advertisement placed by the council in the January 25 edition of the Todmorden News stated “Notice is hereby given that the Borough Council of Calderdale intrends to dispose of land forming part of Centre Vale Park, Burnley Road, Todmorden, West Yorkshire, which includes an open space.”
The wording quickly created concern on social media and numerous telephone calls to the Todmorden News office expressed alarm that the park - a jewel in the town’s crown, formerly the Fielden estate and bought by Todmorden Borough Council over a century ago - was at risk of being sold.
But it appears part of it is being leased - to Todmorden Town Council, who are hoping to raise funds to improve the skatepark, or wheels park, situated there.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, Todmorden ward Coun Susan Press, said: “We know how important Centre Vale is to the town and we are always looking at ways to improve the facilities on offer in the park.
“Therefore, we are proposing to lease a small area of land to Todmorden Town Council to allow them to make improvements to the existing skate park facility.
“We are legally required to advertise our proposals and for technical reasons it is termed as a disposal of land, even though Calderdale Council will continue to own the site and it will only be leased to the Town Council.
“I can assure local people that Calderdale Council is totally committed to the future of Centre Vale Park and we will keep working together with other organisations, such as the Town Council and the Friends Group, to maintain and improve this well-loved space.”
The aim of improving the skatepark section of Centre Vale has been a Todmorden Council aim for several years.
Back in 2013, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet acknowledged that the wheels park was one of three in Calderdale most in need of refurbishment.
Council minutes from then explained that Todmorden Town Council would be able to seek and potentially access grant funding and had agreed to lease the area of land required for a refurbished and extended wheels park.
The lease would be for 25 years, the 2013 Calderdale meeting minutes stated.
The public notice this week gives notification so the public can object to the proposals if they wish.