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Torridge and West Devon Liberal Democrats

Westward Ho! Park saved for the community

November 9, 2020 3:47 PM

The incredible journey to safeguard a much-loved amenity

Westward Ho! Park 1

A long campaign to save Westward Ho! Park was brought to a happy conclusion last week when Northam Town Council completed its purchase from Torridge District Council. The park, in Avon Lane, had been the subject of a planning proposal which would have seen the greater part of it sold off for housing. Campaigners have been working since 2015 to save their 'oasis', which is much loved by the community, providing a safe play area for children, free tennis courts, and a colourful garden, tended by volunteers.

Councillor Nick Laws, who led the campaign commented:

'Our park has been saved, thanks to a tremendous community effort. My heartfelt thanks go to everyone who supported and worked so hard to win the day.' Councillor Claire Hodson, said: 'This marks the opening of the next chapter of our 'Incredible Journey' to deliver the inspirational project for Westward Ho! Park. Now the work really begins!' Mayor of Northam David Chalmers, who signed the documents which brought the purchase to a successful conclusion, said:
'The Westward Ho! campaign group have been amazing in making such a powerful case for the park to remain a public space for everyone to enjoy, running a petition which attracted more than 3,000 signatories. The Friends of Westward Ho! Park raised funds and brought the community together in creating a wonderful space. They have created a sensory garden, raised vegetable boxes, and planted colourful herbaceous borders. There is now additional seating and volunteers even operate
a sports equipment box which offers free use of racquets, balls, and mini golf clubs. It is a huge tribute to the campaign team and to all the volunteers too numerous to mention that the park is now saved for everyone to enjoy.'

Northam Town Council purchased the park for £100,000 with the help of a loan from the Public Works Loan Board to cover the cost and provide for future improvements.

Mayor David Chalmers commented:

'This secures the park now and for future generations, with the cost spread over the long term.' A working committee has now been formed to manage the park, which continues to welcome anyone who has a few hours to spare, or those who provide plants and small shrubs to populate the garden areas.

Westward Ho! Park 2