A GROUP trying to breathe new life into a Leyland green space has been shocked by news that the land could be earmarked for homes.

The Friends of Strawberry Valley Park Facebook page has been set up to offer opportunities on land on Bent Lane, where play equipment has been removed after vandalism.

However, Cllr Ken Jones, who represents the area, was told that a meeting took place and the area of land could be used for housing in the future.

Cllr Jones said: “The group started trying to revitalise the area.

“There is just a tyre swing there now but it is very popular with dog walkers and local people want to improve it.

“We have been planting saplings and flowers on there and we want to have something for young and old,” said Cllr Jones.

“However, we have heard from South Ribble Council that the land is earmarked for houses.

“I was outraged as I was not told about it as local councillor.”

Meanwhile one local resident and group member, Jo Hindle-Taylor, is also angry, and a petition to save the green space has been launched.

She said: “I feel disheartened as we set the group up in August putting together a constitution to raise funds for the park, and South Ribble Council has been saying it is all right to apply for grants to improve the area.

“Then they had a meeting to say it was a potential land for housing.

“We just thought it was sneaky yet we were not told about it.”

A spokesman for South Ribble Council said: “As a council, we strive to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents – which is why we’re embarking on some very exciting and ambitious plans to revamp our much-loved green spaces and leisure facilities treasured by all in South Ribble.

“We’ve made a start on our green networks, which will link up these parks, and the multi-million-pound wider investment programme shows we’re serious about optimising our outdoor assets – across the many different aspects and impacts, particularly around health, so the council greatly values our green spaces.

“As part of this work, we will be looking at sites which do not form part of the green links.

“By considering all appropriate uses of these sites, we will consider options including that of addressing the gap in the number of affordable homes available to our residents, as well as other considerations such as community-based services.

“At this stage, we have not formally agreed which of the sites could be brought forward or for what purpose as we will be seeking to carry out rigorous option appraisals.

“The council will ensure there is full consultation and involvement as part of any option appraisal work to be undertaken in due course.”

To sign the petition visit https://www.change.org/p/cllr-msmith-southribble-org-uk-keep-bent-lane-s-green-space.