Organisers of a petition against the planned £72million Civic Complex and adjoining theatre development have a vested interested in blocking the project.

The suggestion comes as the full council prepares to consider (July 26) a 1,800 name petition calling for a rethink on the plans.

A council spokesperson said: “Some of those opposing the new theatre have clear vested interests. They live immediately adjacent to the Great Hall car park [site] or the park but have not made this clear. Councillors would have to declare such interests.

 

Rhetoric

“The petition gives the impression that Calverley Grounds is at risk… that the park is being taken away. No parks are under threat.

“The petition alleges we will spend £2.5m on debt servicing plus £500k theatre subsidy. We are estimating £2.4m for debt. That includes an increase of £100k for the theatre subsidy.”

Chris Gedge of Save Our Park said: “Through attempting to undermine the credibility of any objectors the council is deploying a classic tactic in dealing with objection, rather than addressing objectors’ underlying concerns.  

“The council continues to be short on substance and long on rhetoric.”