Following approval of the plans for a new leisure complex on the Northgate site consultation on the next phase-turning the Brewery Field into a town centre park- has been launched tonight at the Town Council’s ‘Town Development Forum’. The meeting was chaired by Town Council Leader Cllr Brian Smedley (Westover) and notes taken by Deputy Leader Cllr Kathy Pearce (Westover). The presentation, to residents, councillors and Forum delegates, was given by Sedgemoor officer Stuart Martin on the proposed scheme drawn up by McGregor Smith, Landscape Architects who are working with SDC.
Cllr Smedley said afterwards “We have supported the leisure led development on Northgate and we welcome the final unveiling of plans for the Brewery field, insisting throughout that residents have their say. We were happy with the plans, the heritage recognition of the site, the ecological aspects and the support for all items raised by the public at tonight’s meeting. We think it is highly likely that the Council will be able to deliver a quality town centre park that the people will be proud of, which extends the green space and compliments the neighbourhood.”
Some key headlines of presentation:
- Existing TPOs on Lime Trees on Brewery Field, although Austrian Pine is due to go.
Creation of open swale/pond area, which would be a feature but also necessary for surface water drainage from the Northgate scheme.
- Accelerated funding from Towns Fund would allow for the creation of a pathway across the Field following the line of the old railway track. This would be a permanent feature which would lead people to and from Town Centre, Angel Precinct and Docks.
- Existing path would be widened to allow for dual usage (bicycles/pedestrian) with seating alongside.
- Improved play area for 4-11 year olds outside of Northgate School.
- Planting to include wildflower area, hedgerow for wildlife interest and trees.
- Decorative path markings
- Creation of more bio-diversity – ‘Blue Heritage’ linking to docks/canal/river/Meads.
- Important to factor alleyway from Blacklands into Brewery Field as this is well used by pedestrians and cyclists.
- Important to keep enough grassland for quiet enjoyment/dog walking/picnics etc.
- Need to be aware of badgers on site.
- Concerns were raised about how wildlife in the pond/swale would be protected in terms of altered levels of water, no flow, pollution and litter.
- Litter, ASB and vandalism is a problem in this area – need sufficient rubbish bins.
- Is there space for a small stage for outside performances (may be too close to residential area)?
- Is there power on site – useful for events on Field.
- Introducing concept of sound – ‘Audio/Sound Walk’ for Celebration Mile – App for mobile phones -story telling about heritage/diversity. Plus Listening Posts.
- Has heritage assessment been undertaken for the Brewery Field, ie medieval Bridgwater – North Gate and Roman heritage – Blacklands.
- Could a horse logo (Brewery) be incorporated into design?
- Include Anson Way raised crossing (with path design). Currently very dangerous.
- Is there capacity for input from local residents with specialist knowledge (ie arboriculture/historians)?
- Please try to save existing trees by transferring to another site.
- Can plants/trees with edible berries be incorporated (blackberries/fruit trees – community orchard) etc?
- Is there capacity for water play?
- Facebook and other local social media sites.
- Northgate School – potential for boards and consultation with school staff, children and parents.
- Anson Way Development – use of community hall for boards and feedback from local residents.
- Suggested use of an empty shop in Angel Precinct. Suggestions on cards, posted through letterbox or phone number?.