Peaceful protest as diggers move onto green field

From left, Oakham town councillors David Richardson and Richard Gale with Barleythorpe Road resident Julia Fisher-Robins
From left, Oakham town councillors David Richardson and Richard Gale with Barleythorpe Road resident Julia Fisher-Robins
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COUNTY councillors and residents held a peaceful demonstration last Thursday after being surprised by diggers which rolled past their homes.

People living in Barleythorpe Road, Oakham, have been fighting the council’s intention to develop housing on the former Parks School site and part of the former showground next to their homes ever since the school closed earlier this year.

They do not want to lose the open space and would like the council to provide them with off road parking to ease traffic flow on the street.

Resident John Leroyd said: “For three years the residents group has been extremely disappointed about the lack of consultation from the council concerning this site.

“We are resigned to the fact that a development will go on the site, but we will still fight the parking issue.”

County councillors Richard Gale (Ind) and Dave Richardson (Ind) were also at the protest.

Oakham north west ward coun Gale said: “There is a building here [The Parks School] that is not being considered for sports facilities for the community.

“I feel very let down by the council regarding the parking issues and its lack of consultation about this site.”

A spokesman for Rutland County Council said that only part of the old showground belongs to the council. The rest of the field belongs to the Tresham Institute as part of the Rutland County College site.

He added: “The only work taking place on the land near the former Parks School is a simple test to establish current ground conditions.

“This is not the start of any type of building work or development and any holes dug during testing will be refilled.

“It’s important to realise that no decision on a sale has been made and this preliminary testing is what was agreed at the September meeting of full council.

“The council has been working with Barleythorpe Road residents around car parking and these discussions will continue.”