Stoke Lodge Access Improvement Project
In October we worked with a local resident to develop an application to the Neighbourhoods and Communities team for S106 and CIL funding to provide accessible routes into the green space at Stoke Lodge. (S106 and CIL funding is funding from local building developments that is made available for community improvements.)
We have recently learnt our project has been allocated £24,981
We summarised our project as: Stoke Lodge Access Improvement Project
Proposing to create accessible all weather routes that will improve access into the green space surrounding Stoke Lodge, in particular the arboretum area.
To ensure that disabled people, in particular wheelchair users, people with reduced mobility and parents with small children and buggies can access this local green space, make us of picnic spaces and participate in recreation activities.
Due to the nature of the space and the protected trees in the area we are proposing path options that have low environmental impact, retain the nature of the space but allow more people the opportunity to enjoy the area.
As part of our project bid we explained that we would take some time to consult with local residents, sharing some of the potential routes and types of paths that we could develop. We will share the possible types of path, the pros and cons of each type and the costs of different paths.
Although £24,981 sounds like a lot of money, how far (literally in meters) it takes us, will depend on the path options we choose.
Once we have local feedback on those options we will draw up a final plan and share that as widely as possible. We will then agree work with an appropriate contractor and share details of the planned work and dates.
We know local people will want us to pay particular care to the wellbeing of the trees in the area and consider the environmental and visual impact of any routes. This project is about opening up access to the natural environment for more people to enjoy. Caring for and protecting what makes that space special will an integral part of any plans.
We are currently compiling information about the various options, the different benefits and costs. We will also measure out some routes to give an idea of the square meters needed to get around.
Once we have this information together we will be making it available online, on view at Stoke Lodge and asking for comments. We are also planning to hold a couple of drop in sessions for feedback and questions. We don’t have a favourite route or type of path yet, this consultation stage will be about exploring what will work best for improving access and for the site as a whole.