The District Council are still pressing on with plans for 550 houses “North of London Road” and about 220 where the Rawreth Industrial Estate is now. A drawing is now available to show what’s happening. The area in lilac marked “SER 1” shows where the 550 houses will be. Not all the lilac land will be developed – at least four hectares (about 10 acres) will be public open space. There are also plans for a new primary school on part of the site.
When the Lib Dems began campaigning on this, the council were proposing 1800 houses here, which would have covered the whole of this green area. So we’ve had some success, though we still think all of the green fields should have been left alone and housing built elsewhere. We voted against this site. It’s a pity the Conservatives kept pushing this through.
A government inspector has already agreed to this housing in principle. Countryside Properties have stated they have control over land between Rawreth Lane and London Road, and are in the process of drawing up a masterplan. So our aim now is to get proper highways, replacement sports facilities , drainage and medical improvements, more open space and a proper layout. That’s not going to be easy – the council has hardly discussed these issues yet.
Back in the 1980s a resident in Downhall Road warned gloomily that Downhall Park Way would be ‘the slums of the future’. Happily it hasn’t turned out like that! But we have to work very hard this time around to ensure that we don’t see silly design mistakes (such as the council approving the width of a road before knowing what’s being built along it) and that we get the amenities we need.