Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Aldcliffe Road Triangle News Archive 2012

November 2012

News, volunteer session and meeting reminder

Since the last update we have been busy sorting out where we stand with the Fairfield Association (FA), waiting for the City Council to send final notification of the Take Pride funding award, and trying to get the City Council to make progress on a lease so that we will actually be able to spend the money.

As agreed at our last meeting, Peter, Geoff and myself met with Andrew and Mick from the FA for a powwow, out of which came a request that we produce a document setting out information on the history, objectives, current status and risks associated with the Triangle project, which was duly produced and can be found here. The good news is that at their subsequent meeting on November 21st the FA formally agreed to accept Friends of the Triangle as a subgroup and support our plans to lease the Triangle. This is especially good news because the FA is a registered charity, and we recently found out that registered charities are the only type of voluntary organisation that can legally buy or lease land. Terms of Reference have been drawn up, which can be found here, and assuming that we ratify these at our next meeting (see below), we will be the Fairfield Association’s Friends of the Triangle subgroup.

The other good news is that we received an offer letter from the City Council’s Take Pride fund at the weekend. The not so good news is that it is currently uncertain whether the Council will make a formal decision on whether to lease us the land in time for us to deliver the funded works, which need to be complete by end of March 2013.

It is time for another volunteer session, almost certainly the last of the year (unless there is demand for a Christmas special), which will be on Sunday 2nd December at 2pm. The usual assortment of digging, cutting, and tidying up will be available.

Finally, a reminder that we have a meeting at 7.30 on Monday December 3rd upstairs at the Robert Gillow. The Agenda is here [now deleted], and, as an aid to the ‘what to do with the land’ discussion, it would be helpful if you could have a look through the list of ideas gathered from the consultation questionnaires (which can be found here), come up with a list of your five priorities, and either bring them to the meeting or email us. (see Contact page)

Note: all documents referenced here are on the Documents page.

(Posted 27 November 2012)

Funding news and volunteer session

Apologies for the delay in issuing these, which is entirely down to me being busy and feeling grotty with a cold, and not a reflection of Peter’s typing speed.

In funding news, our bid to the City Council’s Take Pride fund has been recommended for approval! Assuming that recommendations are accepted, we should get final written confirmation in just over a week’s time. We discovered at Expression of Interest stage that green space works were unlikely to be successful, so the bid was for repairing the workshop building plus costs of taking out a lease for the site.

Finally, weather permitting, we’ll have another volunteer session next Sunday (11th November) at 2pm, featuring the usual vegetation clearance plus some more trial pit digging.

(Posted 5 November 2012)

October 2012

Next volunteer session

Green bins have been emptied, and we have a big pile of chopped foliage on the Triangle, so there will be another session this Saturday (20th) at 2pm. As ever, please bring a bin if you have one; loppers, secateurs and saws would also be good; and a spade if you really fancy some exercise.

(Posted 18 October 2012)

Meeting reminder

A quick reminder that we have a meeting tomorrow, Monday 15 October at 7.30, upstairs at the Gillow pub on Meeting House Lane. Please see the Agenda [now deleted] and the Consultation results and bring along copies of these if you want to refer to them. These documents have been deposited on the Documents page for future reference.

Hope to see you there.

The next volunteer session will be Saturday 20th October at 2pm.

(Posted 14 October 2012)

Volunteer session, reminder and news update

A few things:

  1. Don’t be alarmed if you’ve had an email saying that I’ve deleted the Triangle mailing list. Due to the influx from the cake sale we’ve exceeded the maximum number of subscribers to use EmailDodo for free, so we’re now on MailChimp, where we can have up to 2000, which should do for the time being…
  2. A reminder for old subscribers, or somewhat late notice for new, that we have a volunteer session this Sunday 7th October at 2pm. We’ll be removing unsuitable small trees, pruning ivy, and uncovering cobbles. Please bring green bins, loppers, trowels etc if you have them.
  3. I have now received a Heritage Assessment for the site produced by the Canal & River Trust’s Heritage Advisor.
  4. In funding news, we have got through to the second stage of the Take Pride bid process, but then so did all the other applicants. They have informed us that works to green spaces don’t really fit the funding criteria, so I’m looking at reworking the bid to focus on repairs to the workshop building. The deadline looms.

A report on the questionnaire results will follow soonish.

(Posted 5 October 2012)

September 2012

Volunteer session and Apple Day

With the notable exception of some pruning by Lindsay, the idea of doing some work on the site during last Sunday’s event proved to be excessively optimistic, but I’m sure everyone is itching to get on with it, so we’ll have another session on Sunday 7th October at 2pm. Works will include uncovering more cobbles, unblocking the drainage channel so that it drains, removing inappropriately located small trees, and pruning ivy.

In the meantime, there’s:

  • Apple Day – Saturday, September 29th, 2.00-5.00pm, Fairfield Community Orchard:
  • Requested donation: £2 Adults, £1 Children (for the upkeep of the Fairfield Orchard)
  • Children’s games & craft activities
  • Apple Pressing and tasting
  • Drinks and homemade cakes
  • Come and help dress an apple tree!
  • Storytelling
  • Baking Competition –
  • Adults: Best Apple Pie
  • Children: Best Apple muffin

Bring to apple tent before 2.30pm [names on the bottom of the, preferably foil, plate] for judging at 3pm, they will then be auctioned off for the Orchard Upkeep Fund. Prizes for the winners of each category.

All Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian

This includes an opportunity to flex your cake muscles once again – just take them along on the day. There tends to be an appley theme although I’m sure no cake will be refused! Setting up commences at 11.30 meeting at the garage of Appledore, Sunnyside Close. Other volunteering opportunities are available – offers should be made to Eleanor Bulman, 07851 606577 or .

(Posted 27 September 2012)

Cake takings

Today we raised an excellent £239.70!

Huge thanks to Will for organising everything; Mike for producing the posters and questionnaires, and Jane for the history posters and sourcebook; Uschi for designing the flyers, Martin for delivering them; Mick & The Fairfield Association for gazebos and display boards; Liz & Duncan for the tent; Lindsay, Geoff, Sheila, Martin & Gillian for tables and chairs; Sheila, Liz and Gillian for cake serving; Will and Uschi for drinks making and serving; Uschi for collating the questionnaires, Duncan and the visiting musicians for music; everyone for making and consuming large quantities of yummy cake, filling out questionnaires, and making it a really lovely event. Plus all those who contributed in all sorts of ways, helping, offering things and ideas to make everything go smoothly, and talking and explaining about the Triangle to visitors. Well done the weather for holding back the rain until it was all over.

I think we’ll probably do it again in the spring.

(Posted 23 September 2012)

Sunday and other news

Preparations for Sunday’s cake & consultation event are in good order. We’ll be setting up from 1pm so please wander down if you are able to help, and we will hopefully be in a position to receive cake deliveries by 1.45. Assistance with tidying up at 4pm will also be much appreciated. In between times, as well as the wonderful opportunity to consume cake and fill in a questionnaire, there will be a chance to do some work of the usual vegetation clearing and cobble uncovering variety.

In other news, we have received a letter of support from the Canal & River Trust, together with an offer of the advice and assistance of David Hennessey, their project manager on the recently completed refurbishment of the Lune Aqueduct. I’m meeting him on site at 2pm on Monday, and as usual you are welcome to join me.

I have submitted an ‘expression of interest’ (also known as a three page application form) for grant funding of just under £10,000 to Lancaster City Council’s Take Pride fund. This is intended to cover the costs of gaining planning permission (including all necessary survey work), obtaining a lease, tree surgery, demolition, and roof repair and access works to the workshop building. We should find out next week whether we are through to the second stage.

(Posted 21 September 2012)

Site Investigations Report, part 3

Last Friday we also had a visit from Andy Lee of Bowland Tree Services, who provided some extremely useful advice about which are the best trees on the land, and which we should be looking to remove, as well as quotes for the arboricultural survey that we will need for the planning application, and for removing/coppicing/crown lifting trees that are too big for us to deal with in volunteer sessions.

He explained that trees are scored on their condition and on their likely future lifespan: those that have a good long life ahead of them are definite keepers, those that are damaged, approaching the end of their life, or growing in such a way that they are unlikely to make it to maturity can/should be removed, especially if they are otherwise going to cause structural damage. The larger trees on the site are all 35-40 years old, which would coincide with the time that the City Council gained the lease.

Summary recommendations are as follows:

Towpath boundary, from gate

  • Large sycamore – keep & possibly crown lift
  • Hazel – coppice (will provide more space for the oak, and allow us to reach the nuts!)
  • Oak – keep
  • Large goat willow – remove (damaged and near end of life; a short lived ‘weed’ species)
  • Beech – keep & possibly crown lift
  • Rowan – remove (fire damaged, crowding the beech, short lived species)

Bridge boundary, from lean-tos

  • Large sycamore on buttress shelf – remove (as per structural engineer’s requirements, will cause structural damage to bridge retaining wall)
  • Sycamore & goat willow saplings on shelf and ground – remove
  • Large sycamore in NE corner – keep but remove ivy, may need to be removed in future
  • Ivy on wall – remove or severely prune (weight of high level stuff at major risk of damaging wall in high winds)

Road boundary, from gate

  • Silver birch – keep
  • Small goat willow against wall – remove
  • Small ash against wall – remove
  • Small goat willow against building – remove (as per structural engineer’s recommendation, low value ‘weed’ species, will damage building)
  • Small silver birch near building – remove (as per structural engineer’s recommendation, roots are on top of cobbles and tree is poorly anchored)
  • Trees growing out of wall behind toilet – remove

We will get all this with proper scoring and full documentation etc when we have some money to pay for the arboricultural survey. It does seem like quite a lot of removal, but we will of course have the opportunity to plant new trees in more sustainable locations, and indeed may be required to as part of any Conservation Area Consent to do the removals (all trees with greater than a 6″/150mm stem diameter at 1m above ground level will require consent).

And that concludes the reports from last week’s visits.

(Posted 14 September 2012)

Site Investigations Report – Part 2

Last Friday, Ian Grace from Graham Schofield Associates (structural engineers) came to site to look at potential structural issues. His comments are attached below, and I’m pleased to report that we are not going to be charged for this advice.

A couple of extra points:

Firstly, an omission from Part 1: Neil Emery from Property Services confirmed what we suspected about the low level wall/shelf at the bridge end of the site, which does indeed continue through/inside the lean-to buildings right across to the towpath wall.

Secondly, the steel lintel over the sheeted-up door of the smaller lean-to (the one that forms part of the towpath boundary), is in a very poor delaminated condition, and has caused a large crack to form between the brickwork and stonework due to basically pushing parts of the structure apart as it expands and rotates. This emphasises the point that there would be a significant cost involved in retaining these buildings in a safe condition, and reinforces the proposal that the lean-tos should be demolished.


Further to my visit to the Aldcliffe Road Triangle site on Friday 7 September 2012, I confirm the following items as discussed.

  1. The single storey ‘lean-to’ building which was built against the canal bridge abutment and is scheduled to be demolished: This building was constructed much later than the canal bridge and has been built over the lower section of wider bridge abutment. There is therefore no reason why this cannot simply be removed so long as the original stepped abutment wall to the bridge is retained. Adjacent to the existing building it was noted that sycamore tree saplings are growing in the bridge abutment stonework – it is recommended that these are cut down and the root systems killed by suitable specialist treatment (attempting to remove all the roots would damage the stone retaining wall).
  2. The small workshop building which is to be retained is in a safe and stable condition although water ingress may well be causing some damage internally. Steps should be taken to repair the roof to make the building watertight again as soon as possible. There are two trees growing very close to the side wall – it is recommended that these are removed to prevent them damaging the foundations and drains.
  3. The boundary wall between the site and the canal towpath is leaning and has a number of gaps in it where trees have grown. The proposals to reduce the height of the wall and create more distinct openings linking the site with the canal towpath are welcome. In particular there is concern that over time sections of the wall could become unstable. If at all possible it is recommended that the height of the wall is reduced within the next twelve months to ensure that it does not become a hazard.

I hope the above comments are helpful. If you need any further advice on the site please let me know.

Ian Grace

On behalf of Graham Schofield Associates

(Posted 13 September 2012)

Site Investigations Report – Part 1

Last Wednesday Neil Emery from Property Services unlocked the building we are proposing to keep (please send suggestions for a briefer name) so that we could have a look inside and get an idea of how bad a condition it is in. A set of photos from this are on the Gallery page of the website.

The good news is that it does appear to be structurally sound, and the hole in the roof doesn’t appear to have affected the roof timbers particularly badly, although it would still be good to get it patched up as soon as possible. It is a bit of a mess inside, but a volunteer session or two and a skip should be adequate for an initial clean-up. It does feel like a nice open workshop space inside, and will be pleasantly light with the windows uncovered.

One point of note is that the existing steel door is designed for security, and not really for use as a door. It is braced into the opening with unistrut, and probably isn’t suitable for being refixed as an operational door. To do anything with the building it is therefore necessary to replace the door with a ‘proper’ one, and this will go in the ‘Phase 1’ funding bid.

Parts 2 & 3 are to follow.

(Posted 13 September 2012)

Cake event

We had a good turnout for the last meeting and the venue proved convivial, so we will be meeting there again at 7.30 on Monday 15th October. For those that were present, please note that this is a date change, as the room was already booked for the previously agreed date. Also for info we have a letter of support from the police (referred to in the minutes), which will be very useful when putting in funding bids.

Will has kindly agreed to organise a tea, cake, and have your say event at the Triangle on Sunday 23rd September (really quite soon) between 2pm and 4pm. This will serve the dual purpose of fund raising and first stage consultation, and we’ll probably also do a bit of volunteer session type activity at the same time to enable people to have guilt free triple helpings. Offers of gazebos, tables & chairs, help setting up and taking down, and most importantly of course CAKE, should be emailed to Will (  ) asap.

I hope to see you there!

(Posted 12 September 2012)

August 2012

Meeting and more

This is a reminder that we have a meeting on Monday September 3rd at 7.30pm upstairs at the Gillow pub on Meeting House Lane. I’ll bring a few agendas to share but please print off and bring your own copy if you want one in front of you.

I’m planning to devote a fair bit of time to looking at the two designs that the French students have done, establishing what elements of these we like and don’t like, and recording any other ideas (feel free to come bristling with them), so that we can try to boil down what we want, and update the design brief that I quickly cobbled together to get the students going.

If you can’t make it to the meeting please look out for the minutes, as there is plenty of news to report. I know I’ve received a few apologies over the last couple of months, but if you’d like these to be officially recorded on the minutes please send them again!

Also… I’m told that there are still places to fill on the previously advertised Green Spaces conference, so please sign up if you fancy it:

The conference will be 9.30-2.00 on Saturday Sept 22nd 2012, at the Friends Meeting House, Lancaster. A free lunch will be served at 1.00. To register your place, please complete the on-line survey at:

And there’s more! In the afternoon you have a choice of:

  • A guided walk through Lancaster city centre identifying opportunities for green enhancements, ending at Scotch Quarry Park where there is a family funday and the Lancaster Sustainability Partnership Incredible Edible awards 2012
  • Staying at the Friends Meeting House for the local creative enterprises fair
  • Joining in the ‘ Beyond the Castle’ co-design process up the hill

(Posted 21 August 2012)

Designs and volunteer session

I’ve arranged to meet Paul and Pierre-Charles, the French landscape design students, at 4.00pm on Monday at the White Cross pub, where they will be going through the designs that they have produced for the Triangle. They have apparently done one each, which should be really helpful in terms of giving us something to debate at the forthcoming meeting, by which time I’m hoping to have some drawings printed off. Anyone that is available is welcome to join us, and if we happen to have a competent French speaker in our number that would be very handy, as the students’ English is only slightly better than my French.

I’ll be sorting out an agenda for the meeting soonish, so if you have anything to report, or that you want to raise, please let me know.

We’ll have another volunteer session on Sunday 26th at 2pm. Duncan has strimmed and we’re approaching the end of the vegetation clearance, but towards the end of the last session a channel and some nice looking cobbles were uncovered alongside the central building, so one task is to get busy with spades and see what the extent of the cobbles is.

(Posted 18 August 2012)

Rough sleepers – volunteer session

The Triangle has had another visit from rough sleepers this weekend, although they were quickly moved on after Aldcliffe Stores called the police because of a theft from the shop. They have left a bit of a mess though, and it makes sense to get it tidied up as soon as possible so…

We’ll have another volunteer session this Saturday August 4th at 2pm, including the usual tasks of removing rubbish and unwanted vegetation.

(Posted 1 August 2012)

July 2012

News round-up

As it is still quite a while to the next meeting (3rd Sept), here’s a brief update on progress since the last one, in no particular order:

  1. The City Council Contaminated Land Officer has been to site and provided some basic advice, including a list of companies that can carry out desktop studies and contamination surveys. He suggested that this might cost in the region of £1500, which is more than previously thought, but not insurmountable.
  2. Property Services have provided a boundary drawing which shows that the cobbled area currently used as free parking spaces is part of the land that they lease from British Waterways.
  3. Property Services have agreed to meet on site to let us in to the main building to have a look at its general condition and take photos etc, although no date has been set for this yet. A former City Council building surveyor has agreed to come along if he is available.
  4. Jennifer Lauruol from Carpe Diem Gardens brought her two French landscape design students to look at the site at a couple of weeks ago at very short notice (otherwise an invitation to join us would have gone out). They seemed very keen, and offered to produce quantities and costings as well as an outline design for the site. They are here until the end of August, so we should have something to look at by the time of the meeting on 3rd September.
  5. Work parties have made good progress with huge amounts of rubbish now removed, and the site is beginning to feel lighter and more welcoming following the thinning out of undesirable (eg sycamore) and poor quality sapling trees.

(Posted 26 July 2012)

Next volunteer session

The next volunteer session will be on Saturday 21st July, at 2pm. We’ll continue removing unwanted saplings, clearing rubbish and detritus, reducing the ivy, etc and we’ll also have a go at removing the damaged and redundant guttering from the timber framework structure. As always, green bins, loppers, saws, and secateurs would be useful things to bring along.

(Posted 11 July 2012)

June 2012


The date for the next meeting is included within, although I’ll put out a reminder email nearer the time. We thought we would try using the upstairs room at the Gillow pub (on Meeting House Lane) as it is free of charge and will allow us to partake of refreshment, but I’m conscious that it is not fully accessible so am happy to find an alternative venue if anyone is going to find it difficult.

Please note that the next volunteer session will be on Sunday 1st July at 2pm, and will consist of more of the same, so please bring green bins, secateurs, loppers etc if you have them.

I met the City Council’s Community Safety Partnership Officer on Wednesday – unsurprisingly it is unlikely that the CSP would be able to provide any funding, but we will almost certainly be able to get a letter of support out of them referencing the history of anti-social behaviour on the site, which should be useful for funding applications.

Finally, I’m meeting the City Council’s Contamination Officer on site on Wednesday 27th at approx 4.30pm – if you’d like to join us please let me know: .

(Posted 23 June 2012)

Meeting on Monday 18 June

Most of you will have had a letter with details of the meeting, but for those outside the drop zone, it is at 7.30pm in Room 1 of the Friends Meeting House, which is on Meeting House Lane next to Lancaster train station. Room 1 is off the back corridor, so from the entrance hall go straight on through the door at the back, and look for a door that hopefully says ‘Room 1’ on it.

In the meantime, please have a look at the agenda [now deleted] and have a think about whether you would like to be nominated for a particular role, or can assist with one or more of the tasks listed (website design is already in progress). We also need an advance volunteer to take minutes of this first meeting and type up afterwards.

(Posted 15 June 2012)

Next volunteer session and meeting

Weeks are passing in a blur at the moment, so it must be time for another volunteer session! We’ll go for next Sunday afternoon (10th June) starting at 2pm. Current plans include a bit of rubbish clearance, weeding some more sycamore saplings, and digging some shallow trial holes to see what is below the weedy surface, so cutting tools and spades would be useful things to bring along.

Also… we have booked a room in the Friends Meeting House on the evening of Monday 18th June for a public meeting to constitute ourselves as an organisation and start divvying up jobs. Full details will follow shortly.

(Posted 4 June 2012)

May 2012

Volunteer session

With apologies for the shortish notice, we’ll have another volunteer session this coming Saturday 19th May at 2pm, or if the weather is completely awful we’ll defer til Sunday at the same time.

We got the vast majority of the rubbish last time, but there is still probably a bit to clear up. There is plenty of ivy to go at, plus other unwanted vegetation, and we need to do something with the big pile of cuttings from last time, so please bring secateurs/loppers and green bins in you have them. We could also dig a few shallow trial holes to see what is below the current green surface.

To clarify a question that came up last time, as the site is within a conservation area we are only allowed to prune, lop, or remove trees with a trunk diameter less than 75mm (3 inches) at 1.5 metres above ground level. We need to give six weeks notification to the Tree Officer to deal with any trees larger than this – perhaps something to be discussed on Saturday.

(Posted 14 May 2012)

Article in Lancaster Guardian

As the Lancaster Guardian photographer didn’t turn up to the volunteer session I sent them our group photo from the day (thanks to Jon Barry) and they have run a story this week based on the Duke’s Ward Green View article.

(Posted 4 May 2012)

Meetings report

Following meetings with Property Services, British Waterways & H20 (their developers), and the City Council Conservation Officer, plus an informal discussion with senior planners, this is the state of play:

  1. Property Services are happy with the principle of sub-letting the land and buildings to a residents group for a peppercorn rent (eg £1 per annum), for a term to be agreed. It should be a relatively straightforward process to get this approved.
  2. British Waterways indicated that they would have no objections to the sub-let. We would need approval from them to do any works to the buildings and the boundary walls, and this would need to be checked over by their heritage people, but they thought objections would be unlikely. They are keen for the site to be improved as it will be overlooked by their housing development on the other side of the canal.
  3. The developer was interested in the site’s potential for housing, but Property Services indicated that planners had rejected this in the past (for reasons including the poor access and proximity to existing houses), and this was reiterated by the Conservation Officer this afternoon, so it is a non-starter.
  4. The Conservation Officer is happy with the proposal to lower the towpath wall, keen to retain the middle building (minus the porch), and would much prefer that the lean-to buildings against the bridge be demolished. He was very happy that we had already removed some ivy from the walls at the back of the site, and encouraged us to keep going until it was all gone.
  5. Planners would be likely to support our proposals. They advised that due to the nature of the site Environmental Health would probably require soil contamination testing to be carried out as part of a change of use planning application, and in any case this is something we need to know about before taking on the site due to the potential expense of dealing with it.

Subject perhaps to getting something in writing from Waterways, it is probably now time to be establishing a formal organisation to take this forward, and we will be in touch again soon on this subject, plus a date for the next volunteer session.

(Posted 2 May 2012)

April 2012

Volunteer session and photo op

The Lancaster Guardian want to send a photographer round at 1.30 on Saturday (28th April) afternoon, so we’ll have our first volunteer session to fit it with this, commencing at 1pm so we have some nice full bags for the photo.

There isn’t a massive amount of rubbish on the site, but we could also do a bit of vegetation clearance, including uprooting the brambles that are starting to appear. The City Council will supply some bags, litter grabbers, gloves etc, but feel free to bring anything that seems appropriate.

(Posted 24 April 2012)

Progress report

  1. Property Services have said that they don’t have any building surveyor resources, but have provided a Schedule of Dilapidations from November 2004, which identifies a number of essential repairs to the buildings and boundary walls, adding up to an estimated cost of just over £10,000. It is of course likely that there will have been further deterioration since then.
  2. Based on past comments provided to Property Services, Planners would be likely to support the use of the site for green space / community garden. Planning permission for change of use will be required.
  3. Next Monday afternoon we have a joint meeting with Property Services, British Waterways, and H2O (the joint developer with British Waterways of the land on the opposite side of the canal) to discuss our proposals in principle.
  4. The site is part of the Aldcliffe Rd Conservation Area, and the Conservation Officer is keen for it to be improved. We are hoping to meet him on site in advance of the above meeting.
  5. A local resident has kindly offered to carry out a topographical survey free of charge for use as part of a planning application.
  6. The campers appear to have moved on. Provisional date for a clean up session is Saturday 28th April, time to be confirmed.

(Posted 16 April 2012)

A second street letter

As promised a second street letter has now gone out to local residents detailing the revised outline proposals, progress on a meeting with landowners, and plans to establish a ‘Friends of’ organisation.

(Posted 4 April 2012)

March 2012


We are aware of the appearance of a tent on the land, as are the Police and the City Council. The Police have visited and spoken to the campers, but they are unable to move them on because it is private land, and the City Council will therefore need to formally evict them.

It is probably safest to wait for this to be resolved before we organise a volunteer session.

Progress on other matters has been delayed slightly due to a protracted bout of lurgy, but we have now asked Property Services to arrange a meeting with British Waterways to discuss the future of the land, and also asked Property Services if they can provide a building surveyor to carry out a condition report on the buildings.

More soon.

(Posted 26 March 2012)

Meeting at the site

Many thanks for coming to the meeting last week. Your feedback and suggestions were very welcome, and we now have a much improved plan.

In summary, we settled on the following:

  • Lower the canal boundary wall and reuse copings, leaving gaps for access off the towpath.
  • Retain the building and wall on Aldcliffe Rd boundary, and seek to bring the building back into use as eg workshop/studio for craftsperson/artist or icecream/butty shop.
  • Adapt the existing timber structure for use as an arbor with suitable vine planting.
  • Improve the green areas as public/community amenity space, including planting eg bulbs, fruit bushes, fruit trees.
  • Use volunteer input as far as possible to minimise cost.

Please shout if we have missed anything.

What next?

  • We will write to all local residents detailing the above proposals.
  • We will establish a ‘Friends of’ type organisation to do funding bids etc.
  • We will organise a volunteer session to do an initial tidy up of the site and remove rubbish.
  • We will ask the City Council to provide a building surveyor to look at the buildings.
  • We will start talking to British Waterways, City Council Property Services, Planning, Conservation Officers and Tree Officer to obtain the necessary permissions to carry out work.
  • We will approach the developers of the former British Waterways yard on the opposite side of the canal to see if they are willing to cooperate and assist.

(Posted 7 March 2012)

February 2012

Street letter

street letter has now been distributed to approximately 350 houses on Aldcliffe Rd, Cromwell Rd, Regent St, Portland St, Carr House Lane, Queen St, Lindow Rd & Lindow Square. This provides brief details of the current status of the land, some outline proposals to improve it, and an invitation to a public meeting at the site on 25th February.

(Posted 13 February 2012)