Plans by Birmingham City Council to spend £12 million on building a park at Eastside have been attacked as a waste of money by community and faith leaders in Digbeth.
Residents are furious that the local authority is contemplating turning eight acres on the edge of the city centre into finely-mown parkland when, less than half a mile away, an existing park has been allowed to deteriorate into a crimeridden wasteland.
More than 100 people from the local mosque, churches and council flats in Digbeth and Highgate have organised a public meeting tomorrow night to quiz council officials about the future of Highgate Park.
Pawel Ratajczak, a member of the clergy team at St Anne's Parish in Digbeth, said: "In walking distance of our church we already have an existing park - Highgate Park.
"The issue is that park has no resources, not a single piece of playground equipment, yet the council wants to spend £12 million at Eastside. What sense does that make?"
Nitin Varsani, from Young Muslims, said: "There are tons of families who live by the park, but they are poor and working class so are ignored.
The city wants to spend its money on a new park for the people moving into luxury flats and ignore the people who live in the council flats."
Tomorrow's meeting, organised by Birmingham Citizens, is at St Anne's Club, Alcester Street, beginning at 7.30pm.
Birmingham Citizens' spokesman Kirk Nolen said community leaders in Digbeth and Highgate were concerned about recent terrorist acts.
He added: "It is even more important to make concrete gains in quality of life and opportunities in the inner city where young people are susceptible to an extremist message.
"The feeling is that the council wants to build a park for people who will live in luxury flats at Eastside but is ignoring the needs of poorer people in Digbeth."