Thursday, April 05, 2007

St Martins Garden Saved

Last Thursday the Council voted to support a Liberal Democrat motion to remove the School from the Hayesfield development site. This means that everyone is satisfied, well almost everyone - St Martins Garden School, the Margaret Coates Unit and the Sure Start Children's Centre remain as they are; Hayesfield School can sell its old playing fields for development and if this site goes for housing children living in the houses will have a school with room to expand next door; local people still have their green open space to walk in.

The only losers being councillors who wanted to see a big profit for the Council in selling part of the St Martins site for a Tesco Supermarket development.

This was a long campaign stretching from last July, but the tenacity of the 'Ask Odd Down' and 'It's a Super rip Off' campaigners and some of the local councillors has paid off with a sensible vote in Council which took into account overwhelming public opinion.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The land allocation at Hayesfield School Playing field has never at any point stated that Tesco is coming to the area. If people actually read the Local Plan site allocation it stipulates “small convenience foodstore” as part of a wider design brief - this means that any of the retail food stores could come forward with a bid for the site but it would be nothing more than a Tesco Metro, Sainsbury's Local or the like. There NEVER was nor is a plan for a "supermarket" on this site.

If people read the document, they will see that what they are going to have there is a “village-square” type development with houses shops workplaces, play areas, community facilities – NOT A SUPERMARKET

Sadly the local residents concerned and worried about this site have clearly not read all the facts concerned before expressing their views.

Furthermore, had they read the details clearly they would have seen that the Council intention as laid out in the original GDS.1/B18 allocation stated that there would be a replacement school built - the intention would have been to phase in a new school, once complete, move the children over, and demolish the old school, as has happened in many places nationwide where school-replacements occur. As it is, due to the level of ill-informed campaigning, this option - which would have been beneficial to the area - is now scuttled. Now that is a real shame.

4:15 pm

Blogger Roger Symonds said...

Originally the Local Plan Inspector proposed a food store on the whole site with removal of the School, Sure Start Children's Centre and Margaret Coates Centre to a corner of the site. This has finally been rejected by the Council, after a campaign by local people lasting 6 months.
By using the Freedom of Information Act plans for a massive Tesco supermarket were discovered. The plans were made available to councillors and council officers at a Council meeting earlier this year.
Whatever is said about moving the school, it is a fact that 93% of parents and many local people (and from further afield) thought that the scheme, suggested at the last minute by the Inspector, was mad.
A Liberal Democrat motion to Council, which was ridiculed by members of the Conservatives, as being unenforceable, put in the mixed use, with 'small retail units'
This campaign was a good example of how local people can change an ill thought out scheme that was being forced on them without anyone asking for their views.

12:07 pm


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