Druitt Gardens will be enhanced by development
CHRISTCHURCH Borough Council says residents shouldn’t be concerned that the re-development of a derelict listed property behind the High Street will affect Druitt Gardens.
The council’s planning committee has recently given permission for the Cornfactor building to be demolished and reconstructed to form 26 sheltered apartments, together with shops.
Local people had been concerned that the development would necessitate the felling of trees in the Gardens. However, the council has said it is committed to work with the developer on improvements to both the development site and the Gardens.
Matti Raudsepp, head of leisure & open spaces at the Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership, said: “Although there will be felling of some trees, these are non-native species of sycamore and it has long been expected that they would need to be removed to improve the wildlife and amenity value of the Gardens. This development offers the opportunity to both remove the existing poor specimens and replace them with semi-mature native species in an enhanced setting.
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“Work that has been carried out already to thin sycamores elsewhere in the Gardens has allowed more light and warmth into the area. It has also created space for a healthier and more diverse woodland in the future. The proposal to remove the sycamores on the edge of the Cornfactor site is in line with the same general principle that we’re working towards of non-native trees gradually replaced by native wildlife-friendly species.
“The developer is committed to providing an acceptable replanting scheme whereby semi-mature native species will be introduced to complement both the Gardens and the new development.
“Plans also include a new path from the High Street through the development into the Gardens which will open up another access to the Gardens and frame a new view from there through to Millhams Street Elim Church.
“Careful consideration was given to the plans for this development and protected species surveys have been undertaken and submitted. The developer will also be submitting a plan for the way the work will be undertaken which we will have to agree to. The site has lain empty and derelict for 30 years and the development is bound to be an improvement to the town centre.
”For the first time in many years the Gardens will be overlooked by residents rather than houses facing away from a previously neglected open space. It is hoped that this will also increase the use of the Gardens and draw people through from the High Street to enjoy this rejuvenated area.”
While work is being undertaken on the development a small corner of the Gardens will be used for access rather than disrupt the High Street. When work is completed the area will be reinstated with a carefully designed planting scheme which will enhance wildlife.