PLANS have been approved for a makeover project in a Neston park.

Youngsters can look forward to the improvements, drawn up for West Vale Park.

But the borough's community committee, due to meet on Thursday January 22, will hear their planning colleagues believe blue, 1m high bow top railings at an entrance to the park are not needed and the money could be better spent.

The open plan park includes a children's play area with a number of items of equipment which are in a state of disrepair, councillors heard at a planning committee meeting.

It is intended to upgrade, resurface and widen a path through the park, provide a new path to create an alternative route, install fencing and entrance gates and to upgrade the playground with new safety surfacing and six new pieces of play equipment together with seating.

Landscaping is also planned including daffodils and wildflowers.

The paths will be suitable for wheelchairs, mobility scooters and pedestrians.

One objection has been raised from the 62 neighbours who were notified of the scheme relating to the railings proposed close to 61 West Vale.

Occupier Mr G Swainson, who has lived on West Vale for 21 years, points out the estate is open plan and questions the need for the railings which he feels will lead youngsters to congregate and increase the possibility of antisocial behaviour.

He told borough planners they would be within eight feet of his boundary.

“I will walk out of my back gate or front door and they will be there,” he said.

Mr Swainson accepted the railings had been proposed for safety reasons but argued you could “count on one hand how many times there have been motorcycles on the park”.

“Putting railings up will not prevent any problems,” he suggested.

He said there were “massive” difficulties with water and suggested the council would be better off spending money on dealing with that rather than on the railings.

The landscaping, improvements to the path and the installation of railings at both entrances to the park will make better use of the space and allow access for everyone while making the area safer, planning officers believe.

The railings will also prevent access for unauthorised vehicles and discourage the playing of golf and other hard ball games.

The new equipment will encourage greater use of the site, they feel.

Recommending the application should be approved, they argued there should be no adverse effect on residential amenity and the scheme will improve the environment for surrounding residents.

The relaying of the path will avoid seasonal waterlogging and the changes will provide an area of open space and recreation for people of all ages throughout the year.

Riverside Cllr Derek Gaskell (Lib Dem) said he totally agreed with Mr Swainson.

“In 40 years there has not been an accident.

“The money could be spent on something else.

“I object very very strongly to the fence,” he said.

Cllr Brenda Dowding (Con, Parkgate) pointed out the cost of the scheme was not an issue for the planning committee but felt the question was why the money was not being spent on play equipment.

Planning chairman Cllr Mark Henesy (Lab, Groves) said the fence adjacent to Mr Swainson's property did not require planning permission although 1.5m high fencing at the other end of the park did.

He felt the community committee should suggest the fencing adjoining Mr Swainson's home was not necessary.

Development control manager Iwan Hughes said he was not quite clear why the fence in question was needed but assumed the need had arisen from consultation to avoid children running out into the street.

“Cars have run off the road into the park on more than one occasion but a child has not run into the street,” responded Cllr Gaskell.

The committee agreed the scheme should have planning permission and that its views the money intended for the fencing might be used elsewhere, possibly for drainage, should go to the community committee.