Parish ap­peal over car park

Wilmslow Express - - NEWS - KAREN BRIT­TON karen.brit­ton@men­media.co.uk @KarenBrit­ton1

APARISH coun­cil­lor has ap­pealed to her com­mu­nity to get be­hind a con­tro­ver­sial plan which means vil­lage al­lot­ments will be turned into a car park.

Alder­ley Edge Parish Coun­cil has a three­p­ronged plan to re­de­velop the vil­lage’s Fes­ti­val Hall and cre­ate com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties. The first step is to build a new med­i­cal cen­tre at the front of the hall for doc­tors from Alder­ley Edge Med­i­cal Prac­tice. The cur­rent surgery – set across ter­raced prop­er­ties on George Street – fails dis­abled ac­cess re­quire­ments and can no longer ac­com­mo­date its 8,000 pa­tients. Ini­tial build­ing work started in the New Year and parish coun­cil­lors have de­cided to bor­row £2m from the Pub­lic Works Loan Board to com­plete the project, a sum they plan to pay back with rent from the doc­tors.

Along with this, there are plans ap­proved to re­fur­bish the rest of Fes­ti­val Hall so the venue can be used for more func­tions.

Parish coun­cil­lors say all this re­quires ex­tra park­ing, not just to serve the new surgery and Fes­ti­val Hall, but also the vil­lage in gen­eral.

The third part of the plan is to cre­ate a car park on the neigh­bour­ing al­lot­ments at Heyes Lane.

Al­lot­ment hold­ers ob­jected to the plan but parish coun­cil­lors is­sued them a no­tice to leave the plots and of­fered them a new al­lot­ment site at Ly­diat Lane in­stead. The coun­cil has spent more than £3,000 on le­gal fees to fight the al­lot­ment hold­ers’ ob­jec­tions.

The Na­tional Al­lot­ments So­ci­ety has writ­ten to the parish coun­cil to say it was wrong to pro­ceed with its plans, but the parish coun­cil in­tends to go ahead.

Now Coun Melanie Con­nor has is­sued an ap­peal to the Ex­press, call­ing on res­i­dents to get be­hind the plan.

She said: “The med­i­cal cen­tre is an es­sen­tial step for the vil­lage and at the same time Fes­ti­val Hall will be re­fur­bished with fea­tures that will keep it a vi­tal part of the vil­lage.

“The con­tentious is­sue is the new car park at Heyes Lane. We need it for the med­i­cal cen­tre and Fes­ti­val Hall but it goes fur­ther than that – we need it for the vil­lage.

“We have a vi­brant vil­lage but it’s not all rosy. As busi­nesses in­crease, restau­rants get busier and we get more popular, park­ing gets tighter. We need a car park that takes the bulk of longer stay away from the two cen­tral car parks, al­low­ing shop­pers and din­ers to park and keep the vil­lage busy.

“The ob­vi­ous spot is the Heyes Lane al­lot­ments. This will pro­vide a good size car park, de­signed sym­pa­thet­i­cally with green­ery. We are not sim­ply throw­ing the al­lot­ment hold­ers off with no thought, we have taken le­gal ad­vice. The al­lot- ment site at Ly­diat Lane will be fit for pur­pose with full and half size plots, raised beds and or­chard plant­ing, and Heyes Lane al­lot­ment hold­ers will have first pri­or­ity.

“The car park is not just for the med­i­cal cen­tre – it’s for the vil­lage and its fu­ture.”

Fen­ton Simp­son, chair­man of Alder­ley Edge Al­lot­ments and Gar­dens So­ci­ety, said al­lot­ment hold­ers have the back­ing of the Na­tional Al­lot­ments So­ci­ety.

He said: “The so­ci­ety has told the parish coun­cil that the car park plan goes against al­lot­ment law. There has been over­whelm­ing ob­jec­tion to the pro­posal and we want the al­lot­ments left as a green space in the vil­lage.”

Email clerk@ alderleyedge-pc.gov.uk with views on the plan.

Heyes Lane al­lot­ments in Alder­ley Edge and in­set, parish coun­cil­lor Melanie Con­nor

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