AN online petition has been launched in an attempt to protect a significant piece of historic parkland.

Blackwell Action Group is calling on people to support its campaign to block future development and preserve the woodland.

They are now urging Darlington Borough Council to consider removing the area of historic parkland at Blackwell Grange from the area’s draft local plan.

Last month dozens of campaigners from Preserve Historic Blackwell Grange Parkland and Say No to Development marked the first anniversary of the loss of hundreds of trees by gathering at the site as they continue their fight to protect a town’s heritage.

The Northern Echo:

Last month's tree protest

A spokesman for the Blackwell Action Group said: “Just over 12 months ago we had the Woodland Meadows – the old Blackwell Grange Golf Club now Story Home site – 200 trees, two undisturbed ponds, beautiful hedgerows, wildlife, and an ancient well-walked woodland-pathway.

“These Woodland Meadows represented one third of our community green space now totally lost to developers for executive housing.

“Today, the adjacent Historic Parkland dating back to the 18th century and earlier for medieval farming is now under the same threat of development.

“If this is lost, then the remaining two thirds of our green space, wildlife habitat, trees is lost forever.

The community is still in shock over the loss and devastation of the meadows, and everyone is extremely anxious for the Parkland.

“The Historic Parkland must be protected, for the community, the town and for the future generations.”

The Northern Echo:

An aerial view of the entire site Picture: GOOGLE

A council spokeswoman said the authority would not be able to comment until the local plan has been completed. She said: “It would be wrong for us to comment at this stage as the decision regarding whether or not land is allocated for development within the Local Plan has yet to be debated.

"Comments received during the public consultation as part of the local plan are still being considered by officers and a recommendation on a revised local plan will then be put to councillors for consideration.

"Whatever the outcome of the Council’s decision, the Local Plan will then be published to allow residents and interested parties to make further representations. These comments along with comments already received will be sent to a planning inspector appointed by Government who will independently assess the Local Plan as a whole."

To sign the online petition here.