AN AGREEMENT has been reached over plans to improve Easington Recreation Ground after a local school offered to open up its car park to families.

Some 150 residents objected to plans put forward by Banbury Town Council to build a 23-space car park on the site as part of major improvements to the popular green space, including refurbished changing rooms, a new play area and improved football pitches.

After talks between the council and nearby Harriers Banbury Academy, the planning application has been withdrawn.

Teams attending football matches on Saturdays and Sundays can now park at the school rather than in a newly-built car park, easing weekend parking and traffic problems.

Alex Pearson, executive principal at Harriers, said: “Parking in the area is a challenge but our families also really value the park. We are pleased to work directly with Banbury Town Council for what we hope will be beneficial for everyone.”

Kieron Mallon, leader of Banbury Town Council, said: “The council’s plans for the rec have brought us together to once again try to find a mutually beneficial arrangement for the council, school, football teams and residents, especially those living in Easington Road and Gardens and St Georges Crescent.”

Changes will coincide with double yellow lines being introduced to protect the junctions of Easington Road, Horton View and St Georges Crescent from hospital overspill parking.

Other improvements to the park are set to take place over the course of this summer.

Opposition to the planning application for the car park was led by local businessman Peter Cheeseman, who said he and others were ‘delighted’ by the move.

He added: "We have been overwhelmed by the response we have received from the Easington community with regard to their objections to the planning application.

"It is down to the hard work of the many residents within the Easington community who are attempting to resolve this matter, and I would like to express my sincere thanks to all concerned.

"We are now seeking assurances from Banbury Town Council that they will work with Harriers Academy to overcome the concerns of the residents of Easington and indeed Banbury that their parks will not be vandalised in the future."