Over the last 2 evenings residents in streets neighbouring the old Danesmore Park Primary School site have been invited to meet with council offers and elected representatives to discuss potential plans for the site.
The school which closed in December 2007 stood derelict for years and was finally demolished in February 2011 after an arson attack in October 2010 left the structure unsafe. The site was made available for redevelopment and with no interest from other schools for the land, the area has now been earmarked for housing.
While the is no development due to start imminently the council are looking to sell the site and so are forging ahead with surveys and local consultations by invite only. Wider community consultation will take place with the developers once any sale of the land has gone through
The outline plans are for 51 dwellings on the site – this will be the maximum number any developer will be allowed to build, with access points from Ferguson Street for 1 dwelling, Perks Road for 4 homes, Coppice Close for 8 and Russell Close for the remainder of the site. There will be no through roads for vehicles, but people on foot will be able to traverse the entire development, This access has already been agreed with Highways and developers will have to this. The image below gives an idea of what the road layout could be.
25% of the properties will be earmarked for affordable housing.
Arguments for Access
Residents at the meetings expressed extreme concern about the proposed access routes for the site, with parking issues on these cul-de-sacs already causing issues , with some saying there have been problems with emergency services accessing their homes, with the added traffic of a housing development many felt that this would be too much for their streets.
Councillor Phil Bateman promised to raise these concerns and approach Highways and Planning on their behalf.
Another resident raised concerns about potential wildlife on the site – The council reassured the room that a phase one ecological survey had already been carried out. Results of the survey will be made available. It lists plant life and potential wildflife, looking at frogs, bats, badgers etc. There was nothing to note on the site at this stage.
A further survey will also be required to completed by any developers.
A tree survey is being completed, the perimeter trees are of interest and could effect layout – trees could have a Tree Preservation Orders on them which will effect planning but the results of the full survey are not yet available. Any developers will be contractually obliged to follow any preservation orders in place.
Residents could potentially be invited on site to look around themselves and invite the Wildlife trust to reassure anyone who has concerns about this.
Money for the Community
If and when a development goes ahead there will be a pot of public realm money (previously known as section 106 money) available for the community that can be spent on improving the Ashmore Park, Park.
A figure of £100,000 has been stated, Local community groups have already shown an interest in being involved in any plans for the park’s future and to work closely with council officials to ensure any money is spent in a way that is suitable for the local community.