Tue, 23rd April 2024

News

  • Website updated 10th March, 2024

    Next meeting: Saturday, 10.30am, 23rd March, 2024, at Roots

    Roots Coffee, Alvin Street
  • CHAIR’S REPORT, AGM 2023

    KWNP Chair John Price

    Gill Shelley: You will all know of the recent death of Gill Shelly and several of us attended her funeral at a packed crematorium. Gill was the first chair of the KWNP and for many years the driving force behind it. She had a natural ability to be able to relate to people across a wide spectrum of ages and backgrounds. This was evident from the people young and old who packed out the crematorium for her funeral. Pam Tracey summed up Gill very well when she wrote “What a great lady Gill was, her door was always open to everyone especially Kingsholm.”

    Levelling up Working party: The Partnership participated fully in the working party convened by Daniel Smith, Roots, drawing up bids for the levelling up monies that were available. It was a very useful exercise and pleasing that we could reach a consensus view that the majority of the funding should go to Kingsholm school for the development of the performance space. We are very fortunate to have such an outstanding school in the locality which provides such a good service to children and families from a very wide range of backgrounds. On that point it is worth pointing out and acknowledging the role of Nina Hargrave as Chair of the governors as well as a very hard-working member of the Partnership. The school has appointed a new head, Mrs. Stephanie Matthews and I would like to think that we can continue to have close links with the school.

    Planning and Parking: The Partnership has kept an eye on the various planning issues affecting Kingsholm and Wotton. In truth it has been David using his expertise and meticulous approach that kept us informed and drafted any necessary responses. The resident parking regulations have now come into force and has proved the old maxim that you can’t please all the people all the time! From a purely personal viewpoint it has transformed Denmark Road in a really positive way, but others have not seen the same benefits.

    106 monies: The saga of section 106 monies from the Redrow development continues. Problems within the City Council have not helped progress but we understand a new 106 officer has been appointed so all will be well!! Again, thanks to Nina and David for keeping this a live issue

    Open Gardens: Again, a great big thanks to Nina for arranging this event. The weather was very kind and the responses from visitors to the gardens good. I hope this will continue to be an annual event but we do need to share the load of organising with Nina.

    Community Fair: Kingsholm School organised a “Community Fair” bringing together agencies and organisations operating in Kingsholm. We were invited to participate in what was a very useful exercise. . In conclusion...

  • Points from previous AGM, 2022

    Gloucester City Plan: Although the examination of the Plan concluded in June 2021, the Plan then went through a stage of final changes and has not yet been formally adopted at the time of writing. We have identified three main ways in which the area is likely to be affected by the new Plan.

    First, the Inspector recommended that the number of dwellings involved in the conversion of the vacant office buildings on the corner of London Road and Heathville Road (Site SA03) be increased from 30 to 60. Secondly, the Inspector also recommended that the number of dwellings on the site at Great Western Road/Horton Road (site SA05) be increased from 200 to 300, after a reappraisal of the site’s capacity by the Council. The new dwellings will have to consist almost entirely of flats for 300 to be achieved. The Inspector’s final report was released on 21 st November. She refers to the estimates of capacity made by the promoters of these two sites and appears to have accepted them without question. We are not convinced in either case and hope that it does not mean that proposals will be slower in coming forward or of poorer quality. The third issue is that of HMOs. The final changes to the Plan include a new policy to control the spread of such premises, which have proliferated in parts of Kingsholm, in Oxford Road in particular. The new policy is quite complicated and it remains to be seen whether it will be rigorously applied and effective.

  • Redrow Homes and Local Gardens

    Redrow Homes: Little progress has been made on making sure that some of the money arising from the Section 106 agreement on the Denmark Road site, now nearing completion, benefits the local area. The Partnership and the local members have consistently pressed the Council for clarification. The officer in the Planning Department with particular responsibility for such agreements has left. The Partnership will nevertheless continue to pursue this matter.

    Kingsholm Open Gardens: Following the success of last year’s event gardens were opened again on 25 th June. This was the second year of this event and although the overall number of visitors was likely to be down on last year, it was very much enjoyed. Thank you to all who came, opened their gardens or participated in other ways. Here is a quote from The Heritage Hub: “We (Heritage Hub) had 32 visitors, which is up on last year.  People seemed really receptive and interested in the garden and also in other things we are doing & offering at the Hub, so it was a really successful day from our POV. We would definitely like to be involved next year.” Early in the New Year we will look at dates for the 2023 event crystal ball gazing for fine weather.

    Hillfield Gardens: The Partnership has no direct involvement in Hillfield Gardens, but they are an important, attractive and well-used feature of the area. However, the Council’s current contract provides an even poorer service than the previous one. It commits only to cutting the grass and emptying the waste bins. All other maintenance is carried out by the Friends of Hillfield Gardens. There have been a number of instances of homeless people pitching their tents in the Gardens and sadly, the death of one such person earlier this year. There have also been a number of thefts of newly planted items. On a more positive note, the Friends were awarded one of three trees from the Tree of Trees sculpture which formed the green centrepiece to the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations at Buckingham Palace in June. The tree, a silver birch, was planted at a ceremony presided over by the Lord Lieutenant, Edward Gillespie OBE, on 16 th November.

    The Rose Garden: The boards surrounding the small area of public open space known as the Rose Garden at the junction of London Road and Great Western Road were removed at towards the end of October. The grass and rose beds have been replaced by paving and low shrubs.

  • Levelling Up and Other matters

    Levelling Up: The County Council identified ten areas in the County, seven of them in Gloucester including Kingsholm and Wotton, as eligible for a total of £1.5m of grants, on the basis of the latest (2019) Indices of Multiple Deprivation. Community groups and others in each area can bid for up to £150,000. The Friends of Hillfield Gardens have submitted a bid for funds to improve the Gardens. Roots Coffee and Community, with the support of the Partnership and Kingsholm Primary School, have submitted a bid for various projects centred around the school.

    Other Matters: Outside the Tesco Express store on London Road and opposite, posts have been installed on the outer edge of the cycle lanes in order to prevent parking and keep the cycle lanes open. The new café, called No. 76, at the former York House public house on London Road was officially opened in March.

    Thanks: My term as chair comes to an end at the AGM on 3 rd December. I am once again grateful to the Partnership’s other officers, John Price, Nina Hargrave and Adam Lubanski, for their hard work and support, and to local residents for their interest. Councillors Jeremy Hilton and Angela Conder have also been supportive. Roots Coffee and Community have continued to provide accommodation for our meetings and I am grateful to them too.

    David Crofts KWNP Chair 30th November 2022

  • Kingsholm heritage trail

    Just before ‘lockdown’, KWNP re-issued our Kingsholm Trail. It can be found on this website (below), or pick up a copy outside 34 Denmark Road.

    Download booklet with map and guide

    Take a walking tour revealing the history and present of a part of Gloucester from Roman times.

  • Open Spaces Strategy 2020-2025

    KWNP Draft Response to Consultation

    Click here for Gloucester City Council Draft Open Spaces Strategy 2020-2025

    Kingsholm & Wotton Neighbourhood Partnership welcomes the opportunity to comment on this document. We deal with the eight sites in the ward in turn. We note that Kingsholm and Wotton ward has less open space of all kinds (4.12 hectares) than all but one of the wards in the City. The focus must therefore generally be, as the report itself acknowledges, on the improvement of what we have. The need for improvement is reinforced by two other factors. First, Kingsholm and Wotton ward is very diverse in the age, type and quality of its housing stock and the environment in which that housing is set. This is in turn consistent with the extent of deprivation in some parts of the ward. Whatever the relevant indices say, the ward is certainly deprived of open space. This emphasises the need to create the best possible living environment for its residents. Secondly, the lack of open space increases the need for what exists to be cared for properly. Unfortunately, some spaces, for example KW2 and KW6, have been neglected.

    We very much hope that this consultation exercise can include a “walk round audit” of these areas with councillors and officers to make sure everyone is fully informed and aware of possible potential.

  • KW1 Dean’s Way Meadow

    This appears to be a reasonably well-used amenity. The Partnership supports its maintenance and improvement. The Twyver Triangle Residents Association (via KWNP) has supported the idea of improved surfacing on the lumpy mini football pitch - with appropriate field markings and new posts the Deans Way Meadow could facilitate netball/basketball, 5 a side football and training equipment. This is a potential site for outdoor gym equipment. Some of the Section 106 funding arising from the Redrow Homes development could help create much needed exercise facilities for this area of Kingsholm. Some more general efforts are needed to make the area more welcoming.

  • KW2 Kingsholm Rest Garden

    We consider this area, located next to one of the busiest roundabouts in the City, to be of very limited value in its current condition. We wonder whether many local residents are even aware of its status as public open space. Its condition has declined in recent years, mainly as a result of the (presumably unauthorised) removal of a number of conifers adjacent to the boundary of the garden at 102 Kingsholm Road, and the dilapidated appearance of the garden fence does not help. We are not sure that the Council is correct to say, as it does on page 100, that the “development of Civil Service site will disrupt this space”. Building has recently resumed on this site and there is little to indicate that the Rest Garden will be affected either way. In itself, the Rest Garden would appear to have no value for development, so there would be little point in the Council disposing of it. Indeed, it would be an advantage to retain it, to help prevent the kind of development in the rear garden of number 102 Kingsholm Road proposed by planning application 15/00163/OUT and at least one subsequent application. Some new planting as the document suggests might be helpful, but we consider that there are more urgent priorities for planting elsewhere. Instead, this is another useful potential site for some gym equipment as part of a trim trail around Kingsholm and Wotton. It would be easily accessible from many parts of the ward and it is en route to Plock Court. In addition to gym equipment, a couple of seats and a waste bin would be helpful and not costly.

  • KW3 Sebert St Recreation Ground

    This is a well-used and on the whole well-respected amenity. The Partnership is currently in discussion with the Council about the potential for Section 106 monies arising from the Redrow Homes development to be applied here. However, there is a potential danger of over-development. Any expansion of the play facilities here should only take place after full consultation with the users and local residents.

  • KW4 Hampton Court (Lansdown Rd)

    This area is located at the end of a long cul de sac, at least 400 metres from the junction of Lansdown Road with Heathville Road. Other pedestrian access to it is little easier, via Posy Lane or the public footpath running between Estcourt Road and Lansdown Road. The most recent edition of the Ordnance Survey sheet at 1:25,000 scale shows a public right of way leading to the area from Posy Lane but this does not exist on the ground. As a result, the area is probably only used by, perhaps even only known to, residents in the vicinity. Its continued maintenance and improvement are nevertheless supported.

  • KW5 Hillfield Gardens

    We expect that the Friends of Hillfield Gardens will be making a detailed response. The Partnership considers that the Gardens are a major asset to the area which receive insufficient attention from the Council. We recognise of course the diminishing resources available. For some years now, since the formal opening of the sensory garden in 2013, most of the effective maintenance work has been carried out by volunteers. The Partnership hopes that some kind of service level agreement can be drawn up to identify resources, define responsibilities and set priorities.

  • KW6 Great Western Rd Rest Garden (London Rd)

    We note what the document says about this area on page 100. Like KW2, it is too small for any development, and is unsuitable in other ways. Also like KW2, it is located on a major junction on one of the City’s main radial roads. However, whereas KW2 is in practice indistinguishable from the grass verges of the highways land, KW7 is an easily identifiable site. It is on a pedestrian route to the City centre from many parts of the ward. It is located in the London Road Conservation Area, and has listed buildings (Northgate House, Wellington Parade) nearby. For all these reasons we consider it very important that the area is improved with a robust and easily managed scheme which will deter the kind of anti- social behaviour that led to its closure and boarding up. We understand from the local menbers that an application for a grant to improve this area has been made to the GWR Community Fund. In the event of this application being unsuccessful, we hope that the Council itself will be able to fund improvements.

  • KW7 Great Western Rd Rest Garden (Horton Rd)

    We think the Council is right to link the future of this area with the redevelopment of the site identified as SA05 in the submitted City Plan. In fact, this site as depicted on page 95 of the Plan appears to include all of area KW7. We ask the Council to raise this matter with any applicant in pre-application discussions as a legitimate recipient of S106 contributions.

  • KW8 Dean’s Way Allotments

    KWNP supports the continued protection of allotments. We expect that the Friends of Hillfield Gardens will be making a detailed response. The Partnership considers that the Gardens are a major asset to the area which receive insufficient attention from the Council. We recognise of course the diminishing resources available. For some years now, since the formal opening of the sensory garden in 2013, most of the effective maintenance work has been carried out by volunteers. The Partnership hopes that some kind of service level agreement can be drawn up to identify resources, define responsibilities and set priorities.

  • Any views on Open Spaces?

    Email: yourviews@kwnp.co.uk

Current highlights

KWNP meetings

We hold monthly meetings open to all residents. We’d love you to join us for coffee and conversation.

Next meeting

  • Date: Sat, 23rd March 2024, 10:30 am
  • Venue: Roots, Alvin Street
  • Focus: Roots rescue matters

Future meetings for your diary

  1. : Roots rescue matters, Roots, Alvin Street

Other local information

  • Kingsholm Primary School Admissions

    Click here for further details

    Prospective parents or anyone who is interested in the school can contact Lucy Newton (Early Years Lead) on 01452 530777

  • Gloucester Heritage Hub in Alvin Street

    Interested in family and local history? See what the Gloucestershire Archive has to offer.

    Go to the Heritage Hub archive
  • Redrow’s Second Application Succeeds

    At the meeting of the Planning Committee on Tuesday 8 January 2019, the City Council granted planning permission for the application by Redrow Homes for 100 dwellings on the site of the former Civil Service Sports Ground. This followed the Committee’s refusal on 4 December of the earlier application for 89 dwellings on the same site.

    The meeting was attended by three of the Partnership’s officers and a number of residents. The discussion of the application followed the usual format: the presentation of the officer’s report, followed by representations against and for the proposal, questions, debate and finally the vote. The case officer went through her written report, emphasising the difference between the two applications in relation to the three reasons for refusal agreed last month. On design, she explained that changes to the layout meant that it was now acceptable. In respect of affordable housing, the applicants had altered the type and mix of units to reflect what was most needed. In terms of alternative sports provision, the applicant’s offer for the improvement of facilities elsewhere in the City was also now acceptable.

    Speaking against the proposal, Councillor Jeremy Hilton referred to traffic impact, a lack of consultation with the community, and the inconsistency with what the draft City Plan proposed for the site. Lack of consultation with the community and traffic impact and road safety were also raised by John Price, the Partnership’s secretary, and a local resident, who shared the five minutes allotted to objectors. The applicant’s planning consultant then spoke in favour of the proposal. After a fairly lengthy debate the proposal was approved by 6 votes to 3 with 2 abstentions.

    The outcome will no doubt be disappointing to many residents especially those living close to the site. The Partnership remains concerned that the local area will receive few if any benefits and is not persuaded that road safety issues relating to the coach service to and from the Denmark Road High School were properly taken into account. The application was approved subject to sixteen conditions. The Partnership will take steps to ensure that these are adhered to. Since the application was in full rather than in outline, Redrow could well start work on site fairly soon. The decision also means that the inquiry into the first application for 89 dwellings due to start on 12th March will now almost certainly not take place.

  • Civil Service Development 106 Agreement for new sports provision

    KWNP officers have met with Gloucester City Council to make a strong case that Section 106 money from the Civil Service site development should remain in Kingsholm and Wotton for the benefit of local residents.

    Interested parties have met with representatives from the City Council to discuss potential bids, and have agreed a way forward and to ensure that the monies are used for the maximum benefit of our community.

Your views

If you would like "your views on local issues" discussed at forthcoming meetings of KWNP, please submit a brief text message below - or you can send an email direct to yourviews@kwnp.co.uk.

Time permitting, these messages and emails will be discussed at the next monthly meeting, and a summary of views may be forwarded by KWNP to the appropriate person (e.g. local Councillor) or organisation (e.g. Council) for a response.