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Unhappy residents ready to campaign to keep the Tremorfa park

Residents might lose their only green space for years if the plans agreed

Tremorfa park is the only green area where nearby children can play

Tremorfa residents have launched a campaign to save trees in a local park threatened by a new school development.

The campaign wants to save the mature trees in the 16.9-acre site of importance to wildlife that will be lost when the Willows High School is built.

“The council said they are environmentally friendly,” said local resident Pip Gray. “But they always destroy everything. It’s a crime.”

Pip Gray organizes residents to pick up litters in the park every month. Photograph: Pip Gray

Councillor Brett Andrewartha said they hadn’t made their decision to see which trees can be removed.

“The council told us they chose Tremorfa park as a new site just because the current Willows High School is a flood risk. But in fact, the park is flooded when it rains,” said Pip. “It sounds ridiculous.”

The public facilities in the Tremorfa community would be upgraded in the plans.

Under the plan a new Willows high school on Tremorfa park will be opened by 2022, and the current Willows site will be demolished and replaced with an 11.7-acre green space. A council spokesman said it would mean more green space for public use.

“During construction, people still have places to go. We have Splott park nearby, and Tremorfa park won’t be closed at the same time,” said councillor Brett Andrewartha.

Song Thrush chooses the park as their refuge. Photograph: Pip Gray

“But it will take years, noise and dust from the building site would affect residents. Also, Splott park is far from residents in the opposite direction,” said Pip.

“Don’t do it. Our children need opportunities to play in a natural environment. Even in a sporting capacity, it is crucial for the future,” tweeted Celtic Horizons Litter Pickers.

The children from St Albans Rugby Club use Tremorfa park as their training place.

“I am glad about this plan. We would have better facilities and more children can be attended in the new school as the numbers of children growing,” said Teresa James, parent governor of Willows High School. “Local residents also can use the facilities to study.”

According to the 21 century Schools Consultation Document, the buildings of Willows High School is one of three school buildings in poor condition. The council is proposing to increase the capacity of Willows High School from 1,121 places to 1,200 places for pupils.

From Google map, it can see the relation between Tremorfa park and Willows High school.

“Residents did lots of things to make this park lovely, like stopping people who rode motor bicycles on the park and picking up litters. It’s a shame to see all these will be gone,” said Pip.

The plan is not the final decision. After the second and third report by April or May 2020, it would be put into action if members of the cabinet agree.

“I am quite involved with lots of local conservation and get into instinctive rebellion protest. When they have that, I would probably put my side along,” said Pip.