Concerns raised over closure of Druitt Gardens footpath – but council say there is no alternative

Bournemouth Echo: SANCTUARY: Elliot Marx in Druitt gardens SANCTUARY: Elliot Marx in Druitt gardens

CONCERNS have been raised about the potential closure of a footpath through Christchurch’s beloved Druitt Gardens.

Campaigners who unsuccessfully fought against a compound being placed near the gardens earlier this year, said they were concerned about the decision-making process to close the access from Wick Lane car park.

The compound and access issues have arisen as a result of work to build a retirement complex on the Cornfactor site following approval from Christ-church Council last year.

A subsequent proposal from the developer, Renaissance Retirement Ltd, to fell a number of trees in the gardens, was refused by the planning committee this month after a boisterous campaign by residents to save them.

Elliot Marx, one of the campaigners, said in an email to Judith Plumley, head of community and leisure at Christ-church council: “I have to remind you that in all of this juggling of works to allow a private developer to take over a public open space, gifted as a garden of rest and a bird sanctuary, the secrecy involved and the unwillingness of council officials to consult or even advise the local residents forum, the Christchurch Citizens Association, in advance of these plans does not bode well for a council which boasts of its total transparency.”

Christchurch Conservation Trust has also raised concerns.

‘Closure was agreed’

NEIL Farmer, strategic director at Christchurch Borough Council, said: “The closure of the footpath was agreed by the Community Services Committee and, whilst we accept that there is some inconvenience, the developer has provided an alternative permanent route through the gardens from the bottom end of the car park.

“Access to the High Street is still possible from the top of the car park alongside the Regent Centre.

“Arrangements have been made to alter the vehicle access into the gardens through the double gates but the compound in the car park needs to block the upper pedestrian access to the gardens to allow for welfare and storage facilities for contractor staff as also agreed by the committee.

“We have looked into the alternatives but, from a health and safety point of view, the work requires this to happen.

“We will monitor the footpath and seek to open this pedestrian access into the gardens again at the earliest opportunity.”

Comments (7)

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5:26pm Thu 30 Jan 14

damnlion says...

Christchurch Council bowing down still/ again, to a money making developer who has no interest in the gardens other than selling his flats for old people.
"whilst we accept that there is some inconvenience, the developer has provided an alternative permanent route through the gardens from the bottom end of the car park. " says Mr Farmer......no residents wanted another permanent path....more tarmac less gardens. No more woodland, just more municipal park.
Listen to residents , councillors, not a here now gone tomorrow developer. All very suspect.
Nottage and his cronies have a lot to answer for, sooner they get voted out the better.
Christchurch Council bowing down still/ again, to a money making developer who has no interest in the gardens other than selling his flats for old people. "whilst we accept that there is some inconvenience, the developer has provided an alternative permanent route through the gardens from the bottom end of the car park. " says Mr Farmer......no residents wanted another permanent path....more tarmac less gardens. No more woodland, just more municipal park. Listen to residents , councillors, not a here now gone tomorrow developer. All very suspect. Nottage and his cronies have a lot to answer for, sooner they get voted out the better. damnlion
  • Score: 15

6:14pm Thu 30 Jan 14

skydriver says...

Time and time again I have said these councillors never listen to the public,
it's not the councillors town it's ours, we should not let them forget that fact.
to get rid of these councillors we all must act , we must get rid of them now before they do more irreparable damage.
Leader take note, if your able to read that is, LISTEN TO THE LOCAL PEOPLE,!!!!
Time and time again I have said these councillors never listen to the public, it's not the councillors town it's ours, we should not let them forget that fact. to get rid of these councillors we all must act , we must get rid of them now before they do more irreparable damage. Leader take note, if your able to read that is, LISTEN TO THE LOCAL PEOPLE,!!!! skydriver
  • Score: 15

7:42am Fri 31 Jan 14

skydriver says...

damnlion wrote:
Christchurch Council bowing down still/ again, to a money making developer who has no interest in the gardens other than selling his flats for old people.
"whilst we accept that there is some inconvenience, the developer has provided an alternative permanent route through the gardens from the bottom end of the car park. " says Mr Farmer......no residents wanted another permanent path....more tarmac less gardens. No more woodland, just more municipal park.
Listen to residents , councillors, not a here now gone tomorrow developer. All very suspect.
Nottage and his cronies have a lot to answer for, sooner they get voted out the better.
Very well said I agree with your comments, especially the part referring to Cllr Nottage. I feel he may be the most troublesome one of the pack.
I agree the quicker he / they go the better for Christchurch..
[quote][p][bold]damnlion[/bold] wrote: Christchurch Council bowing down still/ again, to a money making developer who has no interest in the gardens other than selling his flats for old people. "whilst we accept that there is some inconvenience, the developer has provided an alternative permanent route through the gardens from the bottom end of the car park. " says Mr Farmer......no residents wanted another permanent path....more tarmac less gardens. No more woodland, just more municipal park. Listen to residents , councillors, not a here now gone tomorrow developer. All very suspect. Nottage and his cronies have a lot to answer for, sooner they get voted out the better.[/p][/quote]Very well said I agree with your comments, especially the part referring to Cllr Nottage. I feel he may be the most troublesome one of the pack. I agree the quicker he / they go the better for Christchurch.. skydriver
  • Score: 11

8:22am Fri 31 Jan 14

whataboutthat says...

Many councillors are a law unto themselves. Look at what is happening in Bournemouth over the town centre master vision mallarky. There is a whole mountain range of mistrust between councillors getting their fix of power and the public seeking accountability. It's nothing short of a crisis of faith in the political process in local government itself.
Many councillors are a law unto themselves. Look at what is happening in Bournemouth over the town centre master vision mallarky. There is a whole mountain range of mistrust between councillors getting their fix of power and the public seeking accountability. It's nothing short of a crisis of faith in the political process in local government itself. whataboutthat
  • Score: 7

10:47am Fri 31 Jan 14

Crank says...

It's a terrible thing to have willfully done to a remarkable and much-loved habitat. A town centre woodland, with all its bird, butterflies, bees, dragonflies, etc, small mammals, bats - so rare, but just trashed, by a virtual one-party council whose Prime Minister pledged to be 'the greenest Government ever'. They have wrecked a treasure, and in my lifetime it cannot recover, if ever. Shame on them: they will go down in infamy - along with the faceless council officers with their arrogant, deceptive and cunning reports and recommendations.
It's a terrible thing to have willfully done to a remarkable and much-loved habitat. A town centre woodland, with all its bird, butterflies, bees, dragonflies, etc, small mammals, bats - so rare, but just trashed, by a virtual one-party council whose Prime Minister pledged to be 'the greenest Government ever'. They have wrecked a treasure, and in my lifetime it cannot recover, if ever. Shame on them: they will go down in infamy - along with the faceless council officers with their arrogant, deceptive and cunning reports and recommendations. Crank
  • Score: 11

9:51am Fri 21 Feb 14

xchresident says...

I'm told that despite over 350 letters of objection the Council has decided to keep the footpath closed.
I'm told that despite over 350 letters of objection the Council has decided to keep the footpath closed. xchresident
  • Score: 2

11:16pm Fri 21 Feb 14

localratepayer says...

Par for the course.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH— tell the Council to LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE!

Lets let the Council know how we feel about all this. Next Council meeting is this coming Tuesday 6pm (25th) Why not make our views known to Councillors and the Press --outside the Civic Office, Bridge Street, BH23 1AZ (rear entrance) at 5:45 Tues.

If you can stay for the meeting so much the better! It's an eye-opener!
Par for the course. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH— tell the Council to LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE! Lets let the Council know how we feel about all this. Next Council meeting is this coming Tuesday 6pm (25th) Why not make our views known to Councillors and the Press --outside the Civic Office, Bridge Street, BH23 1AZ (rear entrance) at 5:45 Tues. If you can stay for the meeting so much the better! It's an eye-opener! localratepayer
  • Score: 0

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