A CAMPAIGN group has quizzed election candidates about the preservation of historic parkland threatened with development.

Members of the Parkland Heritage Group contacted the would-be councillors in the Park West Ward at next month's Darlington Borough Council elections.

Michael Green has welcomed the positive response from the candidates and hopes that the two who are elected stand by their pledge.

He said: "We are encouraged that every one of the candidates said something positive but we will have to see after the election what happens. Protecting the parkland is about the future and we hope that the resolution that we are proposing is accepted.

"We are not saying this as a threat but we have told the council that if the parkland is not removed from the local plan then we will still pursue the legal avenue."

The group posed three questions to the candidates to secure their support for the campaign to protect Blackwell Parkland.

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Tree protest

In response, sitting Conservative councillors Heather Scott and Bob Donoghue wrote: “Bob and myself are happy to support your resolution. That all options should be explored to investigate the process and feasibility for a conservation area."

The two Green candidates, Martin Wood and Louise Maddison, both gave their full support to the campaign. Mr Wood said: " If elected, I would do all that I can as a Councillor to ensure that the resolution is adopted and I would promote the vision of a “New Park for Darlington” on this historically important site."

Ms Maddison added: "We must work to reverse this current Council’s plan to expand this town outwards at the expense of our environment, our green spaces, our wildlife, our health and wellbeing and our town centre.”

James Hughes, who is standing as a Labour candidate, said: "As a member of a younger generation, I am fully supportive of the preservation and care of areas like these as it will affect my generation greatly, and the generations that will follow."