Like all our residents we are as delighted as WLBC is that both Coronation Park and Beacon Country Park have been re-awarded the Green Flag, held since 2007.
Believe it or not, the last Beacon Country Park Management Plan expired in 2016. 207 pages of amazing information. It was published as “Beacon Country Park Management Plan 2011-2016” and is in WLBC website “Related Information” today as “Councillor Yvonne Gagen, portfolio holder for Leisure, said “This is wonderful news. We know that access to green space is so important to our communities and have provided space for residents to exercise and socialise responsibly and to reflect during the pandemic. We are also working hard to protect and invest in our green leisure spaces so we can see more awards for West Lancashire in future years”.
Are we being unkind to Cllr Gagen in reminding her that the Beacon Park Golf Course/Club House/”Driving Range” straddles Elmers Green Lane and might be considered to be a “green leisure site”, or was until Serco Leisure Operating Ltd was flogged its lease for £1 after which WLBC allowed the landfill for royalties scandal to run out of control and it became a disgusting leisure site?
But what is of interest is “3.1.3 Tenure”. The land is owned by West Lancashire Borough Council. The deed packages for the park are held by the Council’s legal department and kept at the head offices at Derby Street, Ormskirk. The land was compulsory purchased in the late 1960’s as part of the development of Skelmersdale New Town. There are four public rights of way across the park. Public footpath nos. 19, 20, and 21, Up Holland, cross the Park in an east to west direction, and public bridleway no. 107, Skelmersdale, runs down Elmers Green Lane to the north.
A water pipeline crosses the park, running southeast to northwest from a reservoir. Access for maintenance and repair of the pipe by United Utilities is subject to agreement with the Rangers and must follow designated routes to minimise impact to the site and its visitors.
“Public toilet facilities are provided by a portacabin between the Ranger Station and the Golf Course Visitor Centre. Bar and catering provision is available in the Golf Centre, and a formal function room available for private hire.
“The existing Centre, whilst offering excellent bar, catering and function facilities is geared more towards the golfing fraternity. A new dedicated countryside centre will go a long way towards finishing the park visitor experience, especially as the plans are to create an environmental flagship for the area, utilising a wide range of sustainable building and management techniques and features”.
Why the interest in the water pipeline? Because it is a reason for Serco taking two years since its “breach of planning conditions” conviction that WLBC is trying to “regularise”, ie get them off the hook!