We understand from the developers, Ediston and Orion Capital Managers, that they hope to submit their planning application for the site adjacent to the park towards the end of July. The fate of the trees will be subject to a separate application, as will the form proposed for a possible new entrance to south west of the park. We have so far failed to ascertain whether all these applications would run concurrently or separately. Based on the latest information available to us the position of the Friends is summed up below:
The Friends believe the New Town North development is likely to have a highly regrettable effect on the park. We will be issuing a newsletter with more detail to our membership soon and will post it on the FRRCA Facebook page. Below is summary of our main concerns –
- Trees: the trees in the park badly need management but we believe only nonviable or unsafe trees should be felled; none to facilitate the development. Suitable and sustainable replacements must be subject to a legally enforceable maintenance programme.
- Buildings: six storey buildings placed close to the south and west boundary of the park will have a brutal effect on it. Maximum tree screening is essential. The conflict between the interests of park users and those of developers who wish to provide the purchasers of their flats with an unimpeded view of the park must be resolved in favour of the former.
- Scale of development: 340 new residences are currently envisaged, with the possibility of more if the proposed hotel proves unviable and the site is repurposed for housing as suggested by the developers. This will bring an influx of several hundred new residents who could subject such an immediately accessible park to undue pressure when it is already half the size recommended for the area in the Council’s Open Space Strategy. The scale of the development is, of course, also responsible for the height and bulk of the buildings.
- Movement of cyclists and pedestrians through the park: friction can occur between these different park users. If the proposed new entrance to the south west of the park receives consent, careful consideration will be needed to configure the way cyclists and pedestrians access the park and the National Cycle Route. We would oppose the creation of any new path which cuts through currently uninterrupted recreational space.
- Boundary definition: we believe that it is imperative that there is clear distinction between public (the park) and private (the development) space. It must be defined by a fence and ideally trees and shrubbery.
- Private versus public space between the proposed crescent blocks: this will now include some private ground contrary to previous statements by the developers and we have failed to get clarity about the extent of this and how it might affect access to the park from the south.
New Town North Development – UPDATE
The final consultation documents will now be posted on their website from mid-day on Thursday 9th April 2020.
Website URL: http://www.newtownnorth.co.uk
We hope that all lovers of the park will visit the website, and respond with their views. This will be the last chance to comment before a formal planning application is lodged, probably at some point in the summer.
Impact of Coronavirus on Activities in the Park – March 2020
Sadly the Friends of the Park are having to draw in their horns for the foreseeable future, so no gardening sessions or clean-ups are planned. We hope we can pick up tools again in the autumn. In the meantime we urge all park users to take care and keep safe.
New Town North Development Proposed for the Land Adjacent to the Park
The final consultation event planned for 2nd April 2020 in Broughton St Mary’s Parish Church has been cancelled. Instead, the developers will post their proposals on their website http://www.newtownnorth.co.uk on 2nd April.
We hope that all lovers of the park will visit the website and respond with their views. This will be the last chance to comment before a formal planning application is lodged, probably at some point in the summer.
The proposals to date indicate that six-storey blocks of flats will flank the boundary of the park to the south, the south west and the west. They will change the very special green and secluded character of the park for ever and the Friends believe that we should lose no opportunity to put the case for moderating the overwhelming scale of the development.
We are just changing our site to fit our new logo and look. Hoping this helps develop our community and encourage even more participation in looking after our wonderful park.
At last, some nice weather to appreciate all the new growth. Tete a tete narcissi planted by children from Stockbridge Primary in November are looking great.
Thanks to all the people who joined us on
Sunday to clear litter and help with a bit of gardening. As well as a bit of weeding we started on sorting the path edges. All were agreed that it’s great to see those beautiful setts again.
Our park ranger is working with a corporate volunteer group later this month.
We hope to be back for more in June. Please get in touch if you are interested in joining us.
The spring bulbs are blooming well already including the ones planted outside The Yard by children from Heriot Hill Nursery.
We have organised two clean ups per year, usually in the spring and autumn and we will continue to do so. These usually prove popular and we will continue to organise them.
We have often been asked if we organise any gardening days where local residents help out, so we had a think how we can best help. We are working with the Park rangers to ensure that any efforts we offer will complement what the council do for us.
If you are interested in helping then please let us know at: email@example.com
We’re pleased to let you know that the RSPB have chosen our wee park to do a Bioblitz on 3 August. It’s fun and free. see you there. More details