ALTON Town Council has now taken ownership of the open space associated with the development of the former Chandos Lodge site and known as ‘Barley Fields’.
Located opposite Eggar’s School, off Montecchio Way, the site has been transferred to the council from the developer, Persimmon Homes, together with a commuted sum of £204,556.53 to enable its development for use as a public open space together with a small conservation meadow area, a public car park, and provision for a children’s play area.
The cash will also cover the cost of maintaining the site over the next 15 years, so that the provision is at no cost to the taxpayer.
Alton Town Council also received £10,000 additional funds to complete the outstanding landscaping works on site which Persimmon had not completed.
Since the transfer the site has been secured by the town council with the introduction of knee rails along the road side boundary and a height barrier at the entrance to the car park, and wooden information signs have been installed.
“This is the first addition to Alton’s extensive public open spaces for many decades and ensures that our open space provision grows in line with the increase in population in accordance with the Alton Neighbourhood Plan,” explained Graham Hill, chairman of the town council’s open spaces committee.
Alton Town Council is now asking people for their views on the design of the proposed play area and an official name for the site. The consultation will run from the Monday, July 24, to Friday, September 1, and residents are asked to visit alton.gov.uk and follow the link for details.
The play area has a budget of £29,500 provided by Persimmon Homes as part of the commuted sum. An outline specification was compiled by officers following feedback from residents and quotations were requested during June from selected contractors.
Once feedback on the design of the play area has been received this will be presented to the open spaces committee, who will then chose their preferred scheme at a meeting on October 4. At the same meeting, a decision will also be made on the naming of the site following the suggestions put forward through the consultation.
n Alton Town Council will hold a full council meeting on Thursday, starting at 7pm in the Martin Read Hall at Alton College. The meeting will debate the results of the public consultation into the mix of facilities to be provided by the new Alton Sports Centre.
The consultation was undertaken in response to “significant” concern over the lack of public consultation by East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) and that Alton is being given a ‘leisure’ rather than a ‘sports’ centre that some fear will not provide for the needs or wishes of a rapidly growing community.
The results of the consultation, and the ensuing debate, will enable Alton Town Council to decide on whether or not to support EHDC’s current proposal for the mix of facilities for the new sports centre.
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