GO APE is a company that has applied for planning permission to section off part of Pollok park as an adventure playground-cum-assault course that charges £25 for adults and £20 for kids from 10 to 17 years of age. It would create 15 local jobs and provide income for the park to re-invest elsewhere.
The detailed proposals were discussed at a well-attended public meeting in the park, where the clear majority was enthusiastic about the Go Ape scheme.
The city council said Pollok park was the most suitable location simply because it already has facilities for visitors, such as public toilets, parking links to the motorway, a rail station and bus routes. The council said that “it would be completely inappropriate” to consider Linn park or Bellahouston Park as they do not have the required infrastructure.
However, despite public opinion and consideration by the council, Pollokshields councillor Mr. David Meikle (Conservative & Unionist) has said:
“This scheme is highly controversial and the reaction to it has been unbelievable.
“The savepollok park.com website has seen 320 votes against and I’ve had 100 letters of objection.
“This application should be put on hold in light of the level of public opposition and public consultation re-opened so people can have their say.”
The story “Fury Over Assault Course Bid For Park” is in the city’s evening paper.
Is it a storm in a teacup? Is this a case of nimbyism by the posh, Tory-voting folks who live nearby?
Look, all I know is that in the past, there was just as much or even more “fury” over the building of the Burrell Collection there, and then the huge fuss over the building of the M77 (see Traffic Calming).
In each case, the claims that the park would be ruined or destroyed were proved false, and the M77 has proved to be an excellent idea, the museum has been award-winning and a fantastic addition by all accounts — and still Pollok park remains Glasgow’s largest park (and the only Country Park within Glasgow). Its extensive woodlands and gardens mean that there is still plenty of room for Go Ape — which will not make any permanent difference.
I personally think it is an excellent idea — and one in keeping with getting today’s fat, lazy kids off their arses in front of their wiis and Nintendos and out into the fresh air. Glasgow has to compete with Renfrewshire’s excellent Xscape — and where better than the well-served Pollok Park? Who knows, maybe people will pop in to the Burrell while they’re there — or use the rest of the park on a summer’s evening.
- Public Parks are for everyone to enjoy — not just winos and gays.
Things are getting worse when people want to create a stir and public outcry over something like this – are there not a million other things far more important to bother about? Anyway there will be a public meeting on 22 January 2008 in Pollokshaws Burgh Hall at 19.30 if you care to go along and moan.