Threat to Frenchwood Recreation Ground
Frenchwood Recreation Ground under threat?
Preston City Council's Composite Masterplan, republished on the blogsite on Views from the Riverbank of a Genuinely Sustainable Future, shows that land north of the river, in Preston itself, is being considered for development. If you look closely at the Taylor Young plan you can see the orange "New housing" area covering most of Frenchwood Recreation Ground from close to the Old Tram Bridge to the Esplanade.
Development here would not only destroy a fine green space below Frenchwood Knoll but it would build over very popular playing fields used by amateur league soccer teams. This is at a time when greater participation in sport is being encouraged for health reasons by Sport England; when the UK is to host the Olympics in 2012; when many health workers and parents are concerned about child (and adult) obesity; and in Preston, the home of the National Football Museum. The increase in traffic along the Boulevard and Malvern Avenue to the new estate would mean more congestion and accidents at the bottleneck junction of London Road and Ashworth Grove (unless the riverside path is opened up for car traffic through Avenham Park? I guess nothing is sacred in Riverworks).
I suspect that very few people in Preston, including councillors, are aware of this suggested plan but you can see it clearly on the map. Avenhamites, Frenchwooders and footballers unite!
Riverworks "Riverside East" document (05) states that the 'development of Riverside East' will be 'providing a mix of public open space (162 hectares), commercial office uses at the M6 Gateway and small scale residential development'.
Again building developments are being dressed up as "providing open space" - open space which already exists and would evidently be reduced by building on it.
The proposals for this area are explicitly linked to the barrage scheme in that 'It will offer water-based recreation pursuits, enabled and supported by the barrage'. This water-based activity is intended to take place on the river and at Brockholes quarry, currently the subject of controversy as the developers extracting gravel from Brockholes initially agreed to then pass on the site to Lancashire Wildlife Trust for nature conservation, but now the site is being considered for use as a water-sports park connected to the river instead...
The 'establishment and formalisation of leisure infrastructure such as moorings, river walkways' would also destroy the riverbank habitat all the way to 'the former Brockholes Quarry site'...
Clearly Riverworks' proposals which are of great concern to local residents also include their proposed developments of East Preston.
football recreation conservation river lancashire