Pet lovers unite in bid to save popular dog walking field in Milton Keynes town
The town council wants to turn the 'dog field' into allotments
A petition has been launched in a bid to stop a popular dog walking field from being turned into allotments.
Newport Pagnell Town Council is proposing to turn the 'dog field' on the town's Green Park estate into gated allotments.
The plan comes at the same time as existing allotments in another part of the town, in London Road, face being bulldozed to make way for a prestigious Aston Martin museum.
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Many residents on Green Park are objecting to the loss of their green space to allotment holders, saying it is the only enclosed area in town where dogs can be exercised.
When planning permission was first granted for Green Park in the 1980s, the dog field area at Burgess Park was officially allocated for allotments. But for almost 40 years this was never taken up by the town council.
"Unlike some permissions, this land use approval for allotments never expires. Therefore, the town council is now proposing to take away this green space in favour of and to support a much smaller number of residents who wish to have an allotment plot," states the petition, which can be viewed here.
It adds: "You cannot underestimate how much the loss of this small green space will mean to Green Park residents and dog owners who appreciate it on a daily basis. There are no alternative enclosed dog excise spaces within the town and no alternative spaces within Green Park other than shared use of football fields or children's play spaces, both are clearly not ideal.
"Is this environmentally friendly and what the town council wants to promote? Is profit from land development being put before the wider interests of residents?"
The petition adds: "The whole community will lose 365-day access to this space in favour of a fenced in area which is accessible by a select few. Yes, allotments are a good thing, but not if using land which is already appreciated by a much greater number of residents.
Meanwhile, plans are proceeding to build the Aston Martin museum in London Road.
Newport Pagnell, which is steeped in Aston Martin manufacturing history, has been chosen as the perfect place for the new museum by the The Aston Martin Heritage Trust, which was founded by the Aston Martin Owners' Club.
The trust has currently outgrown its current location near Oxford and has been looking for a new home. And the patch of thriving London Road allotments, off Tickford Street, and close to the original Aston factory, has been deemed the perfect spot.
Nearby land that once served as a caravan site for the town could be used for a museum car park.
The allotments are owned by Newport Pagnell Town Council, while the former caravan site is owned by Milton Keynes Council Already both councils have discussed the possibility of housing the new museum on this land,
A town council told the Citizen: "A business plan has been developed by the Aston Martin Heritage Trust for a new museum to house their collection of memorabilia and vehicles.
"The town council are proud of our historic connection to Aston Martin and believe a more established connection to Aston Martin's heritage would both help maintain our town heritage as well as potentially contributing to the town's economy"