A £1.5M facelift of a Stourbridge park is being put on hold after residents raised a raft of concerns about the project.

Dudley Council’s planning committee was this week set to discuss the plans – which hope to obtain Lottery funding – for Stevens Park in Quarry Bank, centring around the disused Tintern House.

However, objections – including accusations that proposals to place a ‘grow and sell’ floral area next to a football pitch are being ‘sneaked through the back door’ – have led to the application’s deferral.

That has prompted community group Friends of Quarry Bank Park to caution objectors that they should be careful what they wish for.

David Sparks, chairman of the Friends group, said: “There has been more consultation about this planning application than any other in the history of Quarry Bank.

“There was unanimous support within Quarry Bank for something to be done about Tintern House.

“The objections are relatively minor and are being looked into, possibly leading to an amendment.

“But I’m concerned that if people are not careful, we could lose millions of pounds of Lottery funding and the only opportunity to improve the park.”

The proposals, submitted on behalf of Kidderminster charity The Emily Jordan Foundation, would see Tintern House converted into a shop and café plus a nearby ‘polytunnel’ constructed to grow and sell plants.

Residents fear the proposed 78ft long polytunnel will impinge on the nearby five-a-side football pitch, and questioned the paucity of parking spaces as well as a lack of consultation.

Donna Griffiths, of Park Road, said: “We had a meeting, where the architects were present and they were going away to look at how it could be adapted.

“But in the latest drawings, nothing had changed. We’ve measured 78 feet and it encroaches onto the football pitch. That is the most used part of the park for young families.

“Surely, these plans should complement existing users of the park? There are more suitable positions for the compound, places that get more sunlight.

“There were limited notifications to residents regarding the planning application and no mention of the compound on the proposal posted to residents or attached to lamp posts.

“We feel it is being sneaked in by the back door.”

Angela Walker, of community group Muddle Together CIC, was initially involved in the funding bid but feels she has been frozen out.

She said: “I would be interested to know if the Heritage Lottery Fund is aware that things have been changed to this extent.

“Our original plan was to convert the Parkhouse into a community hub with a horticultural area, especially for disadvantaged children.

“This is about the residents of Quarry Bank, they should be listening to what the community wants. The whole project was about regenerating the park and staying true to the covenant of the Ernest Stevens Trust.”

Cllr Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for environmental services at Dudley MBC, said: “Obviously we are keen to take on board these concerns to make the right decisions on this project.

“The application has been deferred while we seek additional advice and the views of local people on the project and hope plans, which are agreeable to everyone, can be put through as soon as possible.”