Security on the agenda for new recreation park in Horncastle

The site of the proposed recreation park is in the background. In the foreground is the children's playground
The site of the proposed recreation park is in the background. In the foreground is the children's playground

Councillors in Horncastle are planning to launch a major public relations exercise to ease fears that a proposed new recreation park could become a magnet for antisocial behaviour.

Town councillors are proposing to develop the park at a site off Prospect Street, next to an existing children’s playground which has been targeted by vandals.

Several residents say they already have problems with ‘gangs of youths’ and are worried the new facility could add to levels of ASB.

At last month’s town council meeting, resident Andrew Neal accused the council of not doing enough to allay residents’ fears.

He called on the council to give assurances that lighting and CCTV would operate at the site .

Assistant town clerk Michelle Moss has stressed any plans will include a comprehensive package of security measures - including lights and CCTV.

However, she stressed it was impossible to confirm any details because the town council is still involved in the tender process.

The council is drawing up a shortlist of companies, one of which it will form a partnership with to develop the park which could cost up to £250,000.

Once the partner is chosen, Mrs Moss said a detailed package would be put together, including proposals for lighting and CCTV.

She said: “The committee overseeing the project are working very hard to deliver something that will benefit the whole town.

“They have their ideas, but until we agree to appoint a partner, we can’t say what might or might not be included.

“I can assure people, lighting and CCTV will be a key part of any plans.”

Another crucial element will be funding.

Mrs Moss explained joining forces with a company with experience of similar developments would make applying for grants much simpler.

The council has gone to great lengths to stress the new facility will ‘not just be a skate park’ and will feature equipment all age groups can enjoy, including potentially an outdoor gym.

Several other sites - notably the town playing fields - were discounted for various reasons.

One of the big advantages of this chosen site is that the town council hopes to agree a deal with East Lindsey District Council to take over the ownership of the land.

The site is included as part of ongoing discussions between the town council and ELDC over a transfer of several potential assets.

The town council pledged to deliver a recreational facility after conducting a survey last year about a major project residents would like to see.

Various alternatives were put forward and from over 400 replies, a recreation park came out on top.

Although details have to be finalised, a ‘fixed wheeled sporting’ facility is firmly on the agenda.