Been a while since posting, as most things have been settling down, but I am planning on some broadband and other updates when I get the chance.
But in the meantime, I have been supplied the minutes of a recent site meeting regarding the Abbotts Walk Meadow & Play Area. The word document is linked below:
One of the interesting parts in section 5:
- Issue 2 – the future of the 4 Acre Abbotts Walk Meadow:
Instead of the Meadow being transferred to Winchester City Council, it has been suggested by the Wildlife Trust that it be transferred to them, either on a leased basis or a freehold transfer. This would enable the Trust to manage the land in a way more sympathetic to its position adjacent to the nature reserve rather than the Meadow becoming just another sterile municipal green space.
MDR explained that, if this was considered acceptable, the Trust would do several things: (i) engage with the residents; (ii) draw up a management plan to include aims and objectives; (iii) consider grazing some cattle on the land; (iv) possibly erect stock proof fencing;
SDD commented that while this seemed on the face of it an appropriate arrangement it would need the full support of the Abbotts Walk residents, as the Meadow is after all an open space intended primarily to serve them.
Furthermore, as part of the planning permission, it had been agreed that some provision should be made on the Meadow or elsewhere on site for children’s play. It had further been agreed, in one of the amendments to the s106 agreement, that Redrow pay a sum to the City Council – the ‘Children’s Play Commuted Payment’ – of approx. £66,000 in lieu of providing an equipped play area on the Meadow. So the proposals for future management should also explain how children’s play provision would be incorporated.
I’m not sure any of the residents of Abbotts Walk envisaged the meadow being turned in to grazing land like this and how that might even be compatible with a play area. The additional fenced-off areas would mean less area for residents to make use of, which seems to defeat the point somewhat.
Anyhow, it seems like the play area may still be some way off with more discussions to be had.
The original blog posting on the play area is here
The minutes also cover some of the other green spaces, which look set to be transferred to the management company rather than the council, so residents will be liable for shared costs of the upkeep which hadn’t been planned originally. Although they may get maintained to a higher standard, assuming they keep contracting the Lawn Ranger to come every couple of weeks.
If you feel strongly about the issue, then I would suggest raising it with the local Councillors:
Dominic Hiscock, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Maynard, email@example.com
Or anyone who comes knocking on your door for a vote over the next few weeks.