By David Madden

MANTUA, NJ (CBS) — Supporters of a newly opened state park in Gloucester County are worried about a plan under consideration to develop 55 acres right next door.

A land use panel in Mantua is considering a proposed 147 unit housing development adjacent to the Tall Pines State Preserve, which used to be a golf course before the state opened the park last year.

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Richard Dilks, who heads up Friends of the Tall Pines, is organizing opposition to the development plan on what was Prickett’s Nursery.

“Many of those homes would back up right to the very border of the park,” Dilks told KYW Newsradio. “We feel that this is just an inappropriate development, particularly in terms of how it would affect our new state park here in Gloucester County.”

Current zoning in the area would allow for three acre lots, while Dilks says the proposal would put some homes within 20 feet of each other.

Dilks says he’d would just as soon see the parcel remain as a nursery but “If it had to be developed, I would want a much smaller development with a much lighter footprint and a lot of buffer between the park and where any development would be.”

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The panel is set to meet July 18th. A meeting last month was postponed at the developer’s request, according to the Mantua Township web site.

More information on the park and the opposition is available on line at