Wrangle over land for party in park

Alfreton party in the park organisers Paddy Buckley and Liam Conneley.
Alfreton party in the park organisers Paddy Buckley and Liam Conneley.

The organisers of Alfreton’s Party in the Park have decided against using a strip of land in Alfreton Park after they were told it would be needed for a wedding.

The organising committee discovered the terraced strip of land, traditionally used for marching band displays over the Party’s 12 year history, no longer belongs to Derbyshire County Council but to Genesis Social Enterprises who bought nearby Alfreton Hall, a grade II listed building, in 2006.

Last week bosses at Alfreton Hall told organisers the land, which they only discovered they owned last year, could not be used because a wedding was booked. But hours after the company spoke to The News on Tuesday, they decided that the Party organisers could have access to the land after all.

Park Party organiser Liam Connell said: “Why didn’t they do that in the first place? We even offered to mow it for them. It is too late to use it now. We have already made different arrangements. It’s Tuesday today and the event is on Sunday.”

Party founder Paddy Buckley said the committee would hold a public meeting to discuss the issue, which would be organised “as soon as the party is over.”

Derbyshire county and Alfreton town councillor Steve Marshall Clarke said the town council had not been informed that the parcel of land was included in the sale of the hall.

Luke Holmes, manager of Alfreton Hall, said Genesis Social Enterprises, which runs conferences and weddings at the historic building, wanted to help the organisers with their celebration. He added: “We have been nothing but supportive.”

Alfreton Party in the Park takes place this Sunday and features a stunt team, dance schools and amateur boxing. A petition, calling for the land to be reclaimed, can be signed in the information marquee.