New country park gets green light

RESIDENTS in an Essex town can look forward to spending time in the great outdoors thanks to a deal for a new country park.

James Hore

RESIDENTS in an Essex town can look forward to spending time in the great outdoors thanks to a deal for a new country park.

A 14-hectare site on the outskirts of Clacton has been taken over by Tendring District Council (TDC) and will become Brook Park Country Park.

Work still needs to be carried out to prepare the land for public use but it is expected to be open by the end of the year.

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The land has been transferred to the council by local developer Kevin Britton.

The council acquired the freehold of the site from Mr Britton earlier this month who has handed it over along with funding to maintain it.

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The deal for the park and the maintenance was part of the planning consent when the Brook Park Retail Development got the go-ahead following a public inquiry in 2001.

Neil Stock, leader of TDC, said he was pleased that all the legal work had been completed and the land handed over.

He said: “Tendring has been identified as not having enough large areas of publicly accessible informal open space such as country parks.

“Brook Country Park will make a significant impact on tackling this situation for the Clacton area.

“The park will bring about an improvement to the environment and also people's health and well-being.

And Mr Britton said he hoped locals would enjoy the new amenity.

“Instead of managing and maintaining the site myself I decided to gift it to the council and have provided a figure approaching �500,000 to get it open to the public and maintain it for 10 years.

“This will be good for everyone and I will be delighted to see it officially open,” he said.

The area is to be laid out as a country park for informal recreation.

The grass will be left long over much of the site and cut once a year with paths mown into the land and there will be a hard pathway to meet the needs of people with disabilities.

The council will be appointing contractors to do the work on the car park, pathway, signs and furniture over the coming months.

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