Stonehaven families vow to save their park

A group of distraught Stonehaven families have formed a campaign group in order to save a public park at threat from development following an asset transfer request.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 10:48 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 10:48 am
Residents have come together to save Forest Drive park in Stonehaven from being developed.

The park at Forest Drive, Stonehaven has been targeted by Mackie Rugby Football Club as a potential site for their new training facilities, rugby pitches and changing room. Their proposal would see the entire grassland and car parking area gifted to the club for only £1 then fenced off so local residents can no longer use it.

Fiona Stewart, a resident of Forest Park, decided to take action when a notice was shared on a local FB group earlier this month – the first time many in Stonehaven had heard of the plans.

“I decided to speak up when I met a friend who stays nearby and she asked if I’d seen the sign,” said Fiona. “I immediately spoke to a couple neighbours, one backing on to the park asking if they had seen it and no one had seen it or been notified! I decided at that time to share it on the local Facebook group, and realised how much people didn’t want it in the park.

"No one is against the rugby club, they have done a great job, just losing the only green space in this area of town is what people are against. When the rugby club used the park previously with just one pitch it caused issues with parking, I dread to think what it will be like with two pitches and potential tournaments.”

Another local parent, David Officer, said: “I think everyone in the town respects the Rugby Club but this park is already a great asset to the local community - with Mill O’Forest Primary School and Carronhill School both using it for activities and sports day. Carronhill School is for pupils with additional support needs and some of those pupils have significant disabilities. Having a green space located right beside the schools is a huge benefit for all those pupils.

“I believe we have to treasure these spaces as they are, not only place value on them if they are full of people playing team sports every day of the week.”

The Community Asset Transfer request can be viewed at publications.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/dataset/asset-transfer-land-at-forest-park-stonehaven with a deadline of Novemb er 12 for representations. Email [email protected]