Work on Derbyshire’s ‘urban park’ is set to start next month

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Work on a new ‘urban park’ to be built in a Derbyshire town is due to start next month and be completed by October. At a meeting of South Derbyshire District Council on March 17, the authority’s plan to build an urban park off Wlliam Nadin Way in Swadlincote was given the final push it needed.

Councilors also debated what the 21-acre development should be named and rejected plans to name it after Queen Elizabeth II or after Jubilee. Instead, councilors voted to name the authority site Cadley Park, in a bid to ensure the vast heritage of the former coal mine is not forgotten.

Council officials told the meeting that with final approval for fundraising for the £1.1million project, including a further £149,300 grant from Sport England, the project should be able to start “within a month”. Officials also said the park, between the Avant Homes Cadley Village housing site and the golf course, is expected to be open to the public by October.

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The project was funded by the council, the developers and Sport England. The developers also paid money to the authority to maintain the park for the foreseeable future. A decision to name the park after Queen Elizabeth II would have required her permission, council officials said, which may have delayed the project.

Meanwhile, a decision to name it Cadley Country Park was eventually raised after councilors were told a country park site was part of the wider Cadley scheme to the west. The national park project would be managed and owned by a private company, not the council.

Cllr Robert Pearson said: “We have to honor the Jubilee, but maybe not in this case.” Cllr Kevin Richards, leader of the council, said Newhall Park was actually already called Queen Elizabeth Park and had a plaque saying so since 2013.

It enjoys the protection of Queen Elizabeth II as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, which means it is protected by the charity Fields in Trust. Cllr Neil Tilley, whose relatives worked in the Cadley pit which once stood on the site, said: ‘To lose that name I think would be a travesty for all those miners who worked in that pit.

Cllr Peter Watson said calling the site Cadley Park could mistake it for a “football park”.

Cllr Steve Taylor said: “This proposal in terms of Swadlincote is significant and with all the growth we have had in Swadlincote and housing growth, which is happening rapidly, we need this type of development. “The growth of this community is one of the largest in the country and much of it is centered on Swadlincote.

“It will be a real advantage for Swadlincote.” Cllr Trevor Southerd, Deputy Head of Council, said: “It’s an exciting project, quite frankly, and it was approved by the planning committee and we felt it was a really good idea.”

Cadley Park, approved by the council earlier this month, will include a 1.14km family cycle track, a pump track and an area where children and beginner to intermediate cyclists – and those on scooters – can hone their skills and learn to ride.

The park is part of the 200-acre Cadley Park and was formerly known as Cadley Hill Colliery, with all mining activities ceasing in 1997. A grand master plan has been drawn up for the wider park which includes hundreds of new homes , two golf courses, a family pub, country park and driving range.

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