A NEW group dedicated to protecting one of the most controversial pieces of open space in Canterbury has been launched in the city. The Friends of Kingsmead Field took the opportunity at St Stephen’s Hall on Monday last week to discuss plans for a new multi-cultural festival and food fair for the field’s future. The group will take over from the Save Kingsmead Field campaign, which fought to persuade the city council to declare the open space outside their homes a village green, to remove the possibility of contractors building on it. These proposals were voted down, leaving 80 per cent of the land as the less-secure “protected open space”, which leaves a possibility in the future for houses to be built on the land. The new friends say they will be working alongside the council to make sure that does not happen. Plans are already under way for a range of events to be held on the field to counter criticisms made by councillors last year, that the field was “underused”. Provisional chairwoman Sue Langdown said:
“We warmly welcome the council’s announcements about the enhancement of the field and look forward to developing a constructive partnership with the council over the coming months and years. Tonight’s launch of The Friends of Kingsmead Field opens the door to a brighter future for this much needed area of public open space.”
Participants at the launch were treated to Indian samosas and pakoras, prepared by curry chef Paul Babra. Among the ideas being discussed for future events on the field are a multicultural festival and an open-air food fair. The first public event that has been planned is the Easter Monday Duck Race which will take place on the riverbank of the field on Monday April 6 at 3pm.
Herne Bay Times, March 18th 2015