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The story so far of

Green Gates Community Project

In early 2018, Frodsham Town Council proposed the sale of the Green Gates land on Ship Street to developers for housing. This land used to be home to football posts and children’s play equipment. Two of the items of play equipment were removed and taken to Townfield Lane Park, the rest was sold for scrap. In more recent years this land has been kept under lock and key and neglected. In the early days local residents cut the lock from the gates only to be dismayed each time the gates were locked once more. There was a protest march to Castle Park House that fell on deaf ears and was left undocumented.

In September 2019, after much hard work, community spirit and meetings later, we presented our case to Frodsham Town Council. We have just won a two year long fight to have the grass cut. We have also won the fight to have the side gates re-opened after the installation of dog waste bins. We still have not been issued with a letter of landowner consent that would enable us to apply for funding.

The community has objected to the sale of this land on a number of grounds. As a community we recognise the need for new homes, our demand is that these homes are catered for in appropriate locations. Frodsham is not far from meeting the allocated housing quota. We do not need to build houses on a children’s playground to fulfil the housing quota. While there is a national demand for housing, derelict buildings and brownfield sites should always be considered for development first. Our green spaces are national treasures. You can only sell the family silver once!

Redevelopment Proposal

We have created a flexible design proposal that can be adapted to suit a variety of budgets. Costs can be spread over a five year period to avoid a large amount of expenditure in any one tax year. The aim is for GGCP to work alongside council by applying for additional funding to turn these plans into reality.

Why is a housing development not appropriate in this particular location?

THE COVENANT

The land is currently protected by a covenant that states the council will not use the land otherwise than as a children’s playground. This does not encompass the need for developers profit margins. While Saltworks is an asset for sports, dog walking and older children; many residents have expressed genuine safety concerns over children freely using the area.

PARK STANDARDS

The Waterside ward used to 3 have playgrounds. All homes were within the 400m catchment distance of a play area recommended by Fields In Trust. More houses were built, all 3 of the original parks were closed and Saltworks was instated as an alternative. Now many homes fall outside the 400m catchment zone. This is a contributing factor to play depravation.

ELDERLY RESIDENTS

Green spaces play a key role in maintaining mental health and well-being. many pensioners bungalows are within the catchment area of Green Gates park. Saltworks has not been designed to accommodate the needs of elderly residents, leaving them with no suitable green space within walking distance. Isolation kills.

POLLUTION

The Frodsham air quality action plan reveals levels of pollution that exceed EU standards around the St Hilda’s Drive / Fluin Lane junction on the A56. Long tailbacks occur at rush hour. Idling engines can produce up to twice as many emissions as an engine in motion. Commuters returning to Frodsham have to cross the line of oncoming traffic to enter the Waterside estate which exacerbates the problem.

INFRASTRUCTURE

The Ship Street estate is only served by two road access points. Traffic is not able to flow well through either route as they are residential roads with heavy on street parking. During peak times traffic already builds to problematic levels. Additional housing in this area would exacerbate the existing issues of traffic flow.

SURVEY RESULTS

We conducted a survey focused on the Waterside ward in Frodsham. It showed that:

  • 92% of respondents agree that housing should not be built on Green Gates Park and
  • 95% of respondents agree that Green Gates Park should be used as a public space to benefit the community.

The Initial Community Garden Proposal

Through meetings and talking to people within the community we developed the first stage of our design proposal. There was support for both allotments and children’s play equipment. We have found that the community want a safe, friendly and inclusive environment for everyone to use, and we have developed a vision to fit this. As the project developed through a formal survey, it became clear that allotments did not have the support of the public majority so we adapted our proposal accordingly.

SEE INITAL PROPOSAL