More than 1,500 people have objected to proposals to build hundreds of homes and a large industrial complex on a former Leicester golf course.
Western Park Golf Course was closed by the city council four years ago as part of a cost-cutting programme and the authority has now earmarked part of its 129 acres for re-development to help it meet Government-set targets for house building.
Officials have listed it as a strategic development site with the potential for 466 houses and a 50-acre employment area in its local plan strategy to accommodate the city’s growing population in the coming decades.
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They are currently consulting on that plan again after the process of asking for public to comments was suspended when lockdown began in March.
Residents who live near it however say the area has become a haven for wildlife and a much loved green space and they want to prevent it from being built on.
An online petition to the city council has been signed by 1,511 people and more than 1,000 people from Glenfield, Kirby Frith and Braunstone Frith have joined a group to try to save it from development.
Group member Anna Baker, from Glenfield, said: “It’s a fantastic area which we don’t want to lose but also there are no proposals for community facilities or infrastructure like schools.
“We feel a bit like because of the pandemic there hasn’t been the usual level of consultation about such a major proposal.
“That’s why we are trying to make a big noise about it now.
“As a group we are not campaigners, politicians or environmentalists. We are just normal local people pulling together in the strangest of times to try and save this beautiful space.”
City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby insists the consultation is the start of a conversation about the future of the city.
He said: “There are many sites within the Local Plan that are under consideration to help us meet the city’s housing need.
“There is no doubt some of them will be controversial and people can feed their thoughts into the consultation we are running. This is the first of many opportunities to discuss them.”
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