Opposition to lodge plans

The Ward Jackson Park lodge

The Ward Jackson Park lodge

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HUNDREDS of people are objecting to plans to turn a historic park lodge into a private home.

More than 450 people have lodged their opposition to Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning application for the former park keeper’s lodge at Ward Jackson Park.

The council is seeking a change of use to a house with its own access as it looks to sell the building to boost coffers.

But local groups say it should remain part of the park and have used social media, like Facebook, to gather support.

They include the Friends of Ward Jackson Park group, History of Hartlepool in Images, Hartlepool People and Hartlepool in Images.

Joanne Shaw, of the Friends of Ward Jackson Park, said: “By selling Ward Jackson Park Lodge, we believe that Hartlepool Borough Council will change the park forever, not only as a place for the public, but also as an historical listed and recognised site.

“The Lodge was the first building to be erected in the park, and was gifted to the people of Hartlepool from property investors such as George Wooler in order to commemorate the memory of Ralf Ward Jackson.

“It was gifted, not to be subsequently sold off.

“However, if it is to be sold to a private individual, thereby fencing it off from the rest of the park, we believe it will detract from the beautiful park we love so much.”

The Friends approached the council in January requesting a Community Asset Transfer of the lodge where a building is sold for less than the market value but the council decided to remarket the property.

The group also has safety concerns for pedestrians.