North Leeds: Joy as Headingley’s Sparrow Park is saved

Leeds City Council is to take over Sparrow Park.
Leeds City Council is to take over Sparrow Park.
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A green-fingered community is celebrating after years of campaigning to save a local park has ended in victory.

The Sparrow Park Action Group (SPAG) has worked tirelessly to try and restore the neglected green space at the corner of Cardigan Road and Chapel Lane in Headingley.

The park has fallen into disrepair, with damaged and missing fencing and overgrown trees.

Despite five years of enquiries by the Parks and Countryside Service and Planning, it was not possible to establish the owner of the land.

Now Leeds City Council plan to take over the site with a Compulsory Purchase Order and then hand it over to SPAG.

Around £28,000 of funding has also been secured to develop the much-loved green space from the North West Inner Area Committee and Section 106 money.

Richard Park, chairman of SPAG, said: “Local people have been clearing up the area since the seventies and it’s great that we are seeing some really positive steps forward.

“Sparrow Park is a gateway to the neighbourhood. At the moment it is very messy and people don’t treat the area with respect so by getting some ownership we can bring back some pride to the area.”

Coun Martin Hamilton (Lib Dem, Headingley) said: “The issue of the ownership of Sparrow Park has been a thorny one to resolve and has dragged on for way longer than it should have.

“It’s a real victory for Headingley. Sparrow Park Action Group deserve a huge amount of credit for their tireless campaigning on this issue.

“They are a credit to Headingley.”

Senior councillors are set to give the park project the green light at a meeting on Wednesday, September 5.