Parking vs housing estates in Greenwood Park
12:02 11 March 2022
A 93-year-old woman is one of 44 allotment holders who face being evicted from their plots to make way for parking.
Holders have been told they must relinquish their allotments at Greenwood Park, Chiswell Green, to make way for a car park and workshop for grounds maintenance vehicles, and move to green space at North Close, which was only recently designated as an orchard and reflective garden community.
St Stephen’s Parish Council’s Capital Committee has agreed to begin the long process of relocating the 42 housing estates currently at the entrance to the park as part of what they say is a comprehensive improvement and efficiency plan for parish.
But estate holder Julie Johnson said: “They have allocated another piece of land which is totally unsuitable as it has tall trees and a six foot drop as well as being isolated and it will take many years to improve the ground at the level we already have.The current developments have been there for 40 years and one of the ladies – aged 91 – has been there since the beginning.
“We were told the parking lot is needed for weekend football, salsa lessons and events in the community center. The current parking lot has no markings and is therefore underutilized due to poor parking While we can accept that additional parking may be needed, there are better ways to utilize or expand existing parking lots.
“It all seems to run counter to encouraging us to ‘grow our own’ and given that gardening has been shown to be one of the most beneficial forms of exercise for physical and mental health, it seems odd. Why should we encourage more car use in our parks and green spaces?
“It may seem trivial with so many other things going on in the world, but as the council’s vision is to support local communities, to encourage inclusion and diversity also to protect and improve the environment, I think it goes against those values.”
Parish Council Chairman David Parry said: ‘We appreciate that what we are doing is disruptive to the 42 allotment holders, but we are determined to do everything we can to make this move as painless as possible and ultimately create better facilities for them, as well as providing the wider benefits to the parish.
A proposal meeting is scheduled for March 24 starting at 7 p.m. at Orton Hall in the Greenwood Park Community Center.