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Friday, 31 October 2014

Demolition bid sparks plea to save Cockermouth soft play centre

A campaign has been launched to save a children’s soft play centre and cafe in Cockermouth following a demolition plan for the site.

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SAVE OUR CENTRE: Sandra Robinson, left, and Peggy Bradshaw, of Jordan's Jungle in Cockermouth, hold letters opposing an application by Mitchells to demolish the soft play centre’s building on Lorton Street, as Chara Reunangprat and Uther Teasdale make the most of the ball pit

Peggy Bradshaw, who runs Jordan’s Jungle in Lorton Street, rents the premises from Mitchells Auction Company.

The firm has submitted a planning application to demolish the building, and the former Carrs warehouse next door, and build two pairs of semi-detached houses there.

Mitchells said that if it obtained permission it would first demolish the old warehouse – which had been used as a temporary home for shops hit by the 2009 floods – before investigating whether to knock down the other building.

John Rockliffe, Mitchells director and head of its land agency, said: “Since the floods there has been little we can do with the former warehouse building as there is a problem with the fire exits.

“It is unusable at the moment and putting in a safe fire exit would cost a small fortune and not justify the money that would have to be spent on it.”

But, despite reassurances from Mitchells that no firm decision had been taken on the future of the Jordan’s Jungle building, Mrs Bradshaw said she was concerned that she would be forced to close down.

She said: “I feel absolutely devastated as I run this not only as a living but for pleasure.

“I have worked hard to make this cafe what it is.

“It has had the support of the police and the schools and I would have six staff who would lose their jobs.”

She has set up a petition to save Jordan’s Jungle, which opened in 2008.

She has set up youth cafes for teenagers in the evening, and its help in reducing anti-social behaviour was recognised at the West Cumbria Community Safety Partnership Awards.

She said: “Parents have said how much they appreciate having a place where their children and themselves can meet up. If it goes it will be a massive miss for the kids and the community.”

The application has attracted 55 letters of objection and one letter of support. Cockermouth Town Council did not object to the scheme.

Mr Rockliffe said he had spoken to Mrs Bradshaw about the plans, and added: “We care about the town and we are happy to help Cockermouth in any way we can.”

Have your say

I hope that local people get behind Peggy and make known to Allerdale how much they want to see Jordan's Jungle remain. It must be terrible for her continuing with this innovative and popular business not knowing of she will be able to continue. People come from all over the locality to spend time with children in her facility, enjoying great food, seeing the lovely, well cared for animals and the youngsters really enjoy the play areas. People coming from away will undoubtedly spend money in Cockermouth so the benefits to other traders can be seen.

Peggy has invested and transformed the premises, which is growing in popularity be the day. It seems so unfair that after going to these lengths it appears it could be taken away from her (and those of us who regularly go to Jordan's) on a whim of the Landlord.

People who wish to can leave comments on the Allerdale Planning website. If Jordan's closes - I for one will then go to Rookies at Wigton and that is also where I will shop. I know I am not alone.

There are many businesses in Cockermouth which couldn't survive due to economic/austerity pressures and here we have a hugely popular and successful business which also does a brilliant job within our community, living under the threat of closure (even if it is only an implied threat).

Posted by Jane on 25 January 2013 at 18:53

just to update everyone, there is over 100 online objections and a couple of hundred written petitons over this at the moment. not only cockermouth towns people but folks from out of town are supporting Peggy and her family. mitchells have no interest in helping the people of cockermouth otherwise they wouldnt of submitted plans to demolish the only play centre in cockermouth. this brings in alot of trade for this town, we are told to keep trade in town which if mitchells and the town council ever visited JJ's they would see, daddy/mummy/granny whoever sits and enjoys some delicious homemade food while their partner goes into town to do the shopping, both parties win, shop in peace without the twining kids and the kids have fun at jj's, not only is there the play area but an assortment of animals, lizards, snake, degu's, hedgehogs to name a few, where else round here can kids experience this?!?! there has been overwhelming support for peggy and her family which just shows we aint gonna lie down and take this we will fight til the end.

Posted by Save Jordan's Jungle on 25 January 2013 at 17:29

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