Some other items from our March Newsletter


Apart from the Cleggs application, the other major planning proposal affecting Sandfield Road is the conversion of the former Electric Lighting Station to 5 apartments (see last Newsletter). We have expressed our general support for this plan, though have suggested that the south elevation should be clad in traditional brick, with conventional window openings, rather than the large panels of 'opaque glass' and concrete shown on the current application drawings. We have also suggested that the entrance to the proposed access road in the south-west corner of the site should be made available as a turning facility for the benefit of visitors and residents of the existing houses, not just the new development.

Meanwhile a start has been made on the highway works we have advocated for several years (see for example our January 2004
Newsletter), to try and reduce the impact (literally) of vehicles on the Listed Building near the junction with Gateacre Brow. Unfortunately the work done so far - narrowing the carriageway alongside the overhanging portion of the building - seems to have made the problem worse rather than better, as it is so easy for lorries to mount the new pavement. The measures we proposed included higher kerbs, better-positioned bollards and clear warning signs - but none of these have yet been provided.


The City Council is currently considering the future of a number of school sites and buildings, following the government's announcement of the 'Building Schools for the Future' investment programme. Among the proposals is to relocate Gateacre Comprehensive School to a new site, on the present Our Lady of the Assumption playing fields in Belle Vale. New sports pitches would be created next to the former Lee Manor School - and the existing Grange Lane site would be sold off to help finance the scheme.

Obviously we shall be keeping a close watch on what is being proposed. A report submitted to the Gateacre Area Committee has indicated that housing development is the most likely option - but only within the 'footprint' of the existing school, not least because the fields behind are a former landfill site and hence potentially contaminated. If you have any particular views to express, please let us know so that we can take them into account when formulating our own comments.


As local residents will be aware, an 'infill' development site has been created at the side of 16 Blackwood Avenue. The plot includes a large number of mature trees, and we have written to the Planning Department asking for these to be protected both during and after the planned building work. We also criticised the 'grandiose' design of the proposed new house - with full-height pilasters and a pediment - which we felt would be out of keeping with the surrounding properties. This particular planning application has since been withdrawn, but an alternative design will presumably be drawn up and submitted for approval in due course.

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