PARKS across Barnet could soon be hired out for private functions under plans currently on consultation from the council.

Victoria Park, in Finchley, is just one of the parks being consulted on and nearby residents are opposing the move.

A group of residents is rallying against the proposal saying it threatens the environment, the public's access to the park and would create litter and noise pollution.

They also argue that the park is quite small, with the nearest neighbours within 20 metres of any function.

Anastacia Psoni, of Holdenhurst Avenue, said the move "would be against the environmental welfare and social wellbeing of the people who use the park".

"They hold festivals there already and it takes three or four days to clean it up."

Mrs Psoni said a letter-box drop notified residents of the council's plans, and stated the private functions could be held at a frequency of every two weeks."

"If this is done at such a frequency, we feel that the wellbeing of the people will be affected because nobody would be able to go to the park.

Mrs Psoni is part of a group of residents who meet regularly to discuss the upkeep of the park.

Last week, 15 members attended a meeting to express their views on the council proposal.

"The parks are the heart and lungs of the area. They will be polluted.

"We are very concerned."

Residents are forming a petition and holding a public meeting tonight at St Pauls centre, 50 Long Lane, Finchley at 8pm to discuss their concerns.

The council has identified eight parks as pilot sites for private events including Highland Gardens, Victoria Park, Hendon Park, Scratchwood, Edgwarebury Park, Oak Hill Park, Lyttleton Playing Fields and Princes Park.

Prices for the hire have not been determined, but the consultation documents outline the fee will be "calculated on the basis of space required and the length of time of the event".

Councillor Brian Coleman, Cabinet member for Environment, said: " The Council already lets out parks for a wide range of events and this consultation seeks views on making our parks available to a wider community whilst raising desperately needed revenue in order to keep our parks in first class order."

Consultation will continue until January 16.