THE community takeover of an Alloa park that lay disused and overgrown for decades is a step closer following a council meeting last week.

Another box was ticked to facilitate the lease of Wimpy Park to a group of locals who have ambitious and substantial plans to transform it into a community garden and play area.

Registered charity the Wimpy Park Community Group has since 2017 had a burning desire to restore the walled garden at Pine Grove to its former glory days.

Enthusiastic locals, who were applauded around the Kilncraigs council chamber during a meeting of the Place Committee last week, were described as “dedicated and hard working with a desire and commitment to do something” by Councillor Kenny Earle.

The committee approved the transfer of the property, which is owned by the local authority but is an “underused asset” according to Cllr Donald Balsillie, to its General Fund from its Housing and Revenue Account.

The agreement was technical but necessary to facilitate the long-term lease of Wimpy Park, “at a nominal cost” for up to 25 years.

Cllr Balsillie, who was seconding the paper proposed by committee chair and fellow member of the administration Cllr Craig Holden, said he had no doubts that “the community group will enhance” the park.

Events, often to clean up and improve the grounds, have already been organised by the Wimpy Park Community Group, as reported in the Advertiser throughout the past two years.

Locals in the organisation have since created a significant business plan to drive the initiative forward with the underlying aim of providing “a safe place for families to relax and enjoy the outdoors together" with opportunities to learn new skills.

Proposals include a heritage playground with historical elements to teach children about the Bowmar area.

Plans also include allotments and regular events, all in a bid to get people together.

Cllr Derek Stewart, “totally” in support, said he thought there are “great prospects” at the park and sent his best wishes to the group.

Committee chair Cllr Holden said there were “great plans for the future, but already great things happening” and hailed it as a positive example of a Community Asset Transfer, a process that in the recent past saw closure-threatened community halls passed onto local groups.

Options for toilet facilities and lock-ups are also being investigated for Wimpy Park.