THE ownership of leisure facilities in a County Durham market town is to pass to the local council.

Barnard Castle Town Council has reached agreement with Durham County Council to take over the new mini-golf course and children's play area on Scar Top.

Town councillors agreed to spend £650 for the transfer of the land and a further £700 on surveying and legal fees.

Michael King, Barnard Castle Town Council clerk, said the county authority would continue to pick up litter and empty refuse bins at the golf course and play area once the sale had been completed.

Welcoming the move, Councillor Roger Peat said he was concerned about drainage in the area.

“The water is just not getting away and it's turned into a quagmire,” he said.

“The leaves have not been moved and all the grass is dying off.”

Coun Angela Grady added: “It is dangerous at the moment when you walk on Scar Top.”

Mr King said he would bring the problems to the attention of Durham County Council's South Clean and Green team.

The golf course and play area were opened last year as part of a wider £400,000 scheme of improvements at Scar Top.