FOVP_Orchard_logoRecently the Council, via Ryden’s Commercial Property, put a section of Victoria Park up for lease. According to a Council spokesperson two proposals were submitted by the deadline which, as far as we know, are the two community bids – one from Friends of Victoria Park (FoVP) for a community orchard and bike recreation area and one from Broomhill Sports Club (BSC) to reinstate and upgrade the sports pitches and develop associated infrastructure inclduing chagning rooms and a Cafe.

BSC_Pitches_ImageThere has been a good amount of media coverage about this issue. Friends of Victoria Park Arms around the Park protest had articles in the Evening Times and The Herald as well as an appearance on the STV Glasgow Riverside Show. The Evening Times also reported on BSC’s proposals for upgrading the pitches. And there was also a blog from leading land reform campaigner Andy Wightman from the perspective of the common good.

One other option which other voices in the local community have also put forward is for the space to remain as an open space – albeit there is a need for the Council to clear up the site to make it a more usable space rather than just leaving it as the current eye-sore.

VictoriaPark_BlaesIt is extremely encouraging that there have been two community organisations bidding to make better use of the space. In fact a local resident has also written a blog – the Battle for Victoria Park – proposing that there is another way forward, which would be for the two community organisations to come together to work on a combined solution. They contacted the local Councillors and have added their responses to the blog also. They also included a poll in their blog and it will be interesting to see the results when they are available.

It is also interesting to consider why there were no other bids submitted – is this because no developers (commercial or otherwise) were interested? Or maybe commercial developers were put off by the level of engagement of the community about this space?

FossilGrove_Image1Also another aspect is the Fossil Grove. There was a community consultation event earlier in the year about the Fossil Grove and a funding bid for significant investment in the Fossil Grove is being prepared which may include an element of disabled parking area on part of the blaes pitches.

Hopefully a viable solution can be found that keeps this land in community ownership, stewardship and fully accessible to the community whilst adding value to a great local asset. We will continue to watch with interest and contribute when and where appropiate to these developments in our local community. You can download both of the proposals below:

Friends of Victoria Park proposal FOVP_OrchardProposal_Sep2014

Broombill Sports Club proposal BSC_VP-Proposal_Sep2014