A new park for Alderley Edge?

The consultation period for the draft Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) ends next week and the NDP group of volunteers needs to get your views.

One of the ideas put forward in the Plan is to convert the existing Heyes Lane allotments into a new park or gardens, with a small car park to support the Medical Centre and Festival Hall.

The idea is that the village could create a green space for the peaceful enjoyment of all residents (and workers), plus some extra car parking to relieve the Medical Centre and Festival Hall.

The idea is just in its infancy, as the group first needs to know what residents and businesses think of the concept before taking it further.

The thinking behind it is that:

  • There are currently no public parks or gardens in the village east of London Road.
  • It presents an opportunity to create a quiet space for reflection – with a different character from the current park. 
  • The new gardens would allow the community to open up the Festival Hall so that it faces on to attractive gardens, rather than being hidden behind the Medical Centre and the allotments.
  • The gardens could also be used for wedding photographs, supporting the development of the Hall and reducing the need for local taxpayers to subsidise it. 
  • The small car park would be designed to have the lowest possibly visual impact and would take up no more than 25% of the area. 
  • The car park would support the community-owned Medical Centre and Festival Hall.
  • The Festival Hall has a capacity of 250+ people but parking for only 40 cars – much less on weekdays - and steps would be taken to ensure it doesn't simply become a commuter car park. 
  • The car park would also help relieve traffic congestion experienced by residents on Stamford and Talbot Roads.

All this presupposes that alternative space can be provided for the allotments to allow them to be moved to the edge of the village, probably as an extension to the Beech Close allotments – and that is also covered in the Plan. And the proposal assumes that any legal and cost issues can be addressed.

For the moment the Neighbourhood Plan is asking you to choose between three options:

Option 1: Keep the Heyes Lane allotments as they are

Option 2: Convert up to 25% of the allotments for car parking and keep 75% for allotments

Option 3: Convert up to 25% of the allotments for car parking and create public gardens in the remaining 75%

The (only) ways to make your views known on this and other policies in the Plan are:

  • Go to the Library or Festival Hall and reading a hard copy of the plan there, giving your responses on paper which you can post in a box there
  • Go online to the NP website at www.alderleynp.com and fill in the survey online
  • Borrow a hard copy of the NP by contacting the group at alderleynp@gmail.com or calling Geoff Hall on 01625 581321 and then respond either on paper or online.

Please note that the group can only take into account views expressed through the formal routes above. Debate here is of course welcome, but this is the process the group is required to follow to capture responses. So, if you want to have your views heard, please do take part!

Your response will affect what goes in to the final Plan in a few weeks time.

Geoff Hall

Alderley Edge Neighbourhood Plan group.

Tags:
Alderley Edge Neighbourhood Plan
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Jon Williams
Tuesday 3rd September 2019 at 3:37 pm
Done:

Option 3: Convert up to 25% of the allotments for car parking and create public gardens in the remaining 75%
Graham McLelland
Wednesday 4th September 2019 at 4:46 pm
Great idea ,it has our full support option 3
Roy West
Wednesday 4th September 2019 at 6:36 pm
Option 3 would obviously be the best, both for those visiting Festival Hall and also visually, especially after the manner that our Alderley in Bloom volunteers have improved the appearance of the area.
Alan Brough
Wednesday 4th September 2019 at 8:42 pm
Providing the allotment holders are re-located to a site agreeable to them and the covenant that the land be used to for the leisure / enjoyment of local peopl be upheld, I think option 3 is a win / win situation.
Fenton Simpson
Thursday 5th September 2019 at 4:17 pm
As a previous Chairman of the Alderley Edge allotment and garden society for 5 years during the "car park battle" with the previous conservative PC I would like to add my thoughts, however I will point out that I have moved away from the village.

It was always hard to get people to take plots on the Heyes Lane site due to the threat of the car park proposal. It has always looked quite unkempt, in parts, for the 12 years I lived in the village. Sorry if anyone reading this who I know on Heyes Lane but it was always the elephant in room in allotment committee meeting.

Festival hall still, I believe needs more parking for bigger events. Wedding receptions for example.

Given the proposed extension to the Beech close allotment site and upgrade of facilities in that plan and the over provision of allotment plots in Alderley for the residents of Alderley Edge (there I have finally said it!) Option 3 would be in the best long term interests of the village, Festival Hall and the allotment holders current and future allotment holders.

I am aware this will not be a popular opinion with some allotment holders but many will take a more pragmatic approach.
Duncan Herald
Friday 6th September 2019 at 12:18 pm
Just a brief couple of questions:

firstly; is there even an outline/estimated cost and if so may we see it and be told who/how would be paying?

secondly; there was an undertaking that the car park in the Park would, when it was last re-jigged, be in some unspecified way configured to prevent it becoming only a commuter car park i.e. somehow there would be provision for families to park there for short periods, to allow children to use the Park during the day. This has not happened so how would it happen in any new Hayes Lane allotment car park?
Fiona Doorbar
Friday 6th September 2019 at 1:36 pm
We already have 2 parks. Do we need more? We can’t afford Xmas lights so how is this going to be funded??
Vin Sumner
Friday 6th September 2019 at 6:56 pm
hmmm , do we really need more car parking or less cars ... park sounds fine if allotments not wanted ... could be the end pointy for sustainable cable car from edge car park ( lots of space during week ) ...
Tony Haluradivth
Tuesday 10th September 2019 at 10:47 pm
I agree with Fenton. Please let's push ahead with this now unless there is an allotment nimby from Heyes Lane who wants to protest it seems like a very sensible proposal
Russell Hall
Thursday 19th September 2019 at 5:08 pm
Hi Mr Haluradivth, you can call me a "nimby" if you wish, but I moved from Heyes Lane a few years ago, so don't quite fit your category.
A few issues need addressing before we plunge headlong into destroying allotments. Alderley Edge has a thriving allotment community as well as plenty of green space and parks. Do we need another park, or is the AEPC really just looking for more car spaces and offering a park as an inducement?
Who would pay for the car park (were it built)?
Who would receive the monies from the car park tickets (assuming a car park is pay and display)?
As AEPC don't have the money to build the car park, as far as I am aware, I assume Cheshire East would fund and build it and receive the fees from the cars parking there.
Who would monitor the car park? Unless carefully monitored it will become a commuter paradise, being only a short walk from the rail station. Would Cheshire East care who parks there? Surely for them revenue would be the main driver. Commuters welcomed.

If a park is built who pays for it and who maintains it? As Fiona Doorbar points out, we can't afford Christmas lights so can we afford to build and maintain a park? I doubt it.

So in a few years time, when the park is overgrown and in urgent need of maintenance will there be an argument to do away with the park as it is a waste of money? We could tarmac it to create a car park. Yes, I can see that happening.

Remember the Royal Oak next door? Remember the fight to maintain the public space there? The residential planning application turned down. A few years later, after the owner ran the pub into the ground, residential consent was granted.

AEPC want more car spaces for the Festival Hall. Shouldn't we be promoting less car use?

Keep the allotments, people use them and enjoy them. Once lost, they won't be replaced. If AEPC really want a compromise perhaps option 2 could be considered, but approach the Allotment Society first, ask them for their views. Give them some assurances as to the future of the allotments in the village. Just my thoughts as an allotment holder (not on Heyes Lane).

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