A Wrexham-based university has rejected calls to open up a fenced-off area of field to allow people to exercise safely during the coronavirus crisis.
Glyndwr University controversially put the large metal structure up across Dean Road field in Rhosnesni last year after being denied permission to build 74 houses on it.
It led to around 100 residents staging a protest against the move to deny them access to land under its ownership.
Local councillor Mike Davies has yesterday urged the institution to reopen the area to allow members of the community to use it for their once daily exercise allowed under COVID-19 restrictions.
However, the university has rebuffed the suggestion, despite the independent representative claiming it would help people to observe social distancing rules.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Cllr Davies said: “In the current situation we are finding ourselves in, people have been advised to limit unnecessary travel and contact with other people, also to stay indoors as much as possible.
“However it is recognised that people need fresh air and it is suggested they can go out once a day for some exercise.
“Unfortunately many people do not have access to good open spaces where they can get out and have a walk whilst still keeping a safe distance from others.
“People in the vicinity of the Dean Road playing field have been denied access to most of the field recently.
“This would be an ideal place for residents to use for some limited exercise and dog walking.
“As the restrictions will no doubt continue for some months yet, it would be a nice gesture if Glyndwr unlocked the gate on Holt Road, and also unlocked the gate in the fence across the field.”
The university recently launched an appeal over the refusal of the housing plans as they said they wanted to sell the site to developers to raise money for campus improvements.
At the time the fence was erected, officials claimed it had been done to prevent vandalism.
They also pledged to work with Borras Park Albion youth football club to allow its team to continue to use part of the land.
But a spokeswoman said it would not be reopening the fenced off area to the public.
In a statement, she said: “The land at Dean Road is not public open space, it is private land owned by the university and won’t be opened up for public use.”
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme)
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