We held our second Zoom Open Meeting on the 21st April and were able to get updates on the five(!) projects on-going on Parkwood Springs – potentially millions of pounds worth of investment.
We supported the project to improve the cycling and walking track from Herries Road to Clubmill Road, but we were pleased to see that some detailed concerns have been incorporated in the Planning Permission. The work cannot start until measures have been taken to maintain the ecology and biodiversity of the site. Proposals to modify the entrances to restrict motorcycles must also be ready to implement if it becomes necessary.
Earlier this month we attended a Landfill Restoration Access liaison meeting hosted by Viridor. Viridor confirmed that work will start on the agreed path layout at the beginning of May and should be largely complete by the end of the year. The drainage proposal, to which we objected, has been withdrawn and a revised proposal is being submitted. This should recognise the need to provide a wetland to improve biodiversity. We have been campaigning for this for over fifteen years! The proposed wetland area is shown in blue in the map below.
We were told that a suggestion of using part of the landfill site for solar energy generation is not being pursued. However, we would support solar generation being included in the development of the former ski village area.
There has been speculation in the Star about delays to the redevelopment of the old Ski Village site, and improving road access to it. Jon Dallow from the Council told us that Extreme, the preferred development partner, is expected to make a planning application for the redevelopment of the ski village during this summer. There may also be a separate, but complementary, application from Skyline, the operators of the proposed Luge.
The building of the access road to the Extreme development is being taken forward by the Council because it will be a public road, and the funding is subject to tight time constraints.
Jon also told us that the Tip to Trail application to British Cycling, which we discussed at the previous Open Meeting, has been successful, subject to agreeing some details. The Council is now waiting for the award letter which will confirm the details, but the likelihood is that it will involve substantial improvements to the entrances to the site to make them more attractive, improvements to both footpaths and cycle trails, and a kiosk and toilets. Consultation will be starting soon about what exactly will be provided. We have made an immediate suggestion of a wild play area for small children following on from discussions we have had with a group of local parents of pre-school age children.