Kingsmead park in the spotlight

A DARK park which was a hotspot for anti-social behaviour is being transformed into a haven worth investing in.

The Kensington Way park in Kingsmead was described as ‘dire’ and a ‘horrible dark tunnel’ by parish councillors who said it has been used by people taking drugs and that criminals’ electronic tags had been found there.

Councillors have started to improve the park by thinning out hedges, trees and shrubs, although some residents have complained about the work.

Clr Emma Bannister said: “We’ve lowered the branches so light can get into the park.

“At the moment it does look really bare but it was a horrible dark tunnel – they do drugs in there, we’ve found electronic tags there, it was horrible down there.

“The park equipment does need replacing but it’s not worth it while the park is so dire – it will just get vandalised and trashed and the right people won’t use it.

“We decided to clear the corner, get some light in there, make it more open and ward off some of that behaviour.

“At the time we thought we would take the hut entrance down as well because there was a lot of meeting up going on there but actually, now all the shrubbery has been cleared and the hedge is down, it actually looks nice and it’s open.”

The council plans to maintain the hedges at a height of 5ft from the spring and to landscape the area.

Clr Bannister said: “It doesn’t look like a tunnel into the dark any more.

“If we can get the landscaping right and have lower level landscaping that’s attractive then it will be worth us spending money on the park.”

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