Hadleigh: 1,000 sign petition to preserve Cox’s Park

MORE than 1,000 people have signed a petition to save a park in Hadleigh.

The document is part of a campaign to persuade Babergh District Council to shelve plans to build on the former putting green behind the Grade II-Listed East House, which is known locally as Cox’s Park.

The local authority recently unveiled a proposal to turn the 17th-Century George Street property into flats and has released plans to build four detached houses on land that includes Cox’s Park.

Gavin Talbot of the Friends of Cox’s Park Group, and chair of Hadleigh Town Council’s planning committee, Penny Cook presented the petition to Babergh staff yesterday morning.

Ms Cook said the town council opposed the park development, adding: “Regrettably, approval was given for the changes to the house in spite of Babergh’s rejection of a bid of �501,000 in 2006 from the town council, but the committee felt strongly that open green spaces in the town needed preserving.”

Mr Talbot added: “Babergh’s own policies seem to show a shortage of open space in Hadleigh and it is therefore vital to protect what we currently have.”

The group hopes that the area can be officially designated a village green and would like local people to provide evidence of how they have used the area during the past 20 years.

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A Babergh spokesman said: “As landowner, Babergh agreed some time ago that East House and a portion of the neighbouring land would need to be included in any sale to make it viable for redevelopment.”