The Northgate site is now completely encased by custard yellow boarding and access routes have been created. The next step will be the closure of the Brewery Field as they’re about to remove the top soil and it too will become a building site. The big issue now is the need to restrict public access across the field while retaining residents access to and protection of the rear of their properties. We’ve been around Northgate quite a lot these past few days, consulted with residents and talked to SDC officers and there’s a bit of a mixed response regarding the Brewery field access issue. We have attempted to put these points to Sedgemoor and to Wilmott Dixon, but the bottom line is that it is WD who are responsible for the site and maintaining Health and Safety is paramount.
The main route from Camden and Blacklands to Town Centre will be a poorly lit, (but brightly yellow) 2 metre route via the Allotments and Global Furniture. This route has blind spots and a street light is not working so we have asked for these to be addressed. The Mount st Pavement is also not ideal for mobility vehicles. They have put a ramp in but there is still not good maneuverability on Mount street
SDC are of the mind to close the route across Brewery field altogether but to ensure access to the rear of houses remains possible by arrangement.
On Monday work will start to take off the top soil and this will make the field a no go area. Dog walkers will have to find other locations. We spoke to several and understand that this is not popular. But it will be temporary and a better park will come out of all this.
We have suggested better signage to prevent people trying to access the area and a phone number for the site managers office
People are rightly concerned at the possibility of an increase in ASB and other potentially criminal activity either within the site or in the periphery. So far there has been a bit of graffitti (largely covid conspiracy related) . We have asked the Police to increase patrols in the area and they have agreed to do this.
Some people have been concerned at the removal of the pedestrian crossing on Mount Street. This has however been moved slightly to the west and operates as normal with push button control. We have asked for signage to make this clear.
Bricks and Ditches
People have been concerned at the emergence of numerous bricks in the trench dug by Western Electrics along Mount street. These bricks almost definitely are linked to the old Brewery and , unmarked, probably date to the 1840s. This is just a temporary excavation.
However, historians will be interested to know we are preparing a website and info boards about the history of the whole area. We are assuming the site stretched from the Glass Cone, through what was the workhouse across the field and into the area which was the Brewery, then the prefab SDC H-Block, then the Splash and across to the Global Furniture site which was historically ‘The Mount’ a redoubt for defence purposes during the days of the Castle. Watch this space.
Keeping the public informed
Wilmot Dixon are about to circulate their newsletter. A sneak preview of it is below. Please note their direct contact details 07970699221 (Michael Mackey) or firstname.lastname@example.org.