Continuing on from the earlier post, here I look at the second page of promotional blurb…
Continuing Paragraphs Five to Eight:
The vision for Parlington Village is to deliver an outstanding master planned community to help meet the city’s requirement for housing.
Ideas are at a conceptual stage but the village will be designed to provide a broad range of housing sizes and types, to buy or rent. It will include a full range of affordable housing and benefit from significant community investment, including provision for schools, healthcare, retail and employment together with good existing, and potential, connectivity to road, rail, bus and cycle links.
The Parlington Estate extends to about 2,000 acres. Only the central area of the estate will be developed, leaving the majority of the land as farm and woodland, which will be covered by a comprehensive management plan preventing further expansion and allowing greater public access.
The Parlington Estate is managed by M&G Real Estate. M&G Real Estate is one of the UK’s largest institutional property investors and has considerable expertise and access to potential sources of funding that can help deliver the proposed development.
Taking each paragraph in turn:
Paragraph One. No one would say otherwise, this is an irrelevance, I always worry when I hear the word community, it is so often used in a patronising fashion.
Paragraph Two. The old community message again, the first sentence is standard fare, but the investment for schooling, healthcare and retail calls for a large established population before they can be viable. Take Aberford as an example, it has lost all its shops bar one, which is an offshoot from the Arabian pub, I’m excluding Aberford Interiors as that is out of the village. Only one pub left, one doctors surgery gone, post office gone. There is a primary school, partly supported by the lease of land off the Parlington Estate, otherwise it is hardly a paragon of modern school architecture, it could readily do with improvement. Methodist church gone for re-development, garage caput! Employment, they mean rented space for people to open offices etc, the employment is not encouraged by the development, that is down to the enterprise of individuals and businesses. Then we have the nonsense about ‘good existing, and potential, connectivity to road, rail, bus and cycle links.’ This subject is worthy of a long post on its own. Suffice to say I think you could count the number of cyclists heading to work on one hand, and even less when the weather is inclement.
Paragraph Three. “Only the central area of the estate will be developed”, it really doesn’t matter its all green belt. The last sentence is pretty irritating, there are numerous footpaths around the estate a fraction of them open to public access. Past management has seen every bit of the estate deteriorate, from walls collapsing to listed structures caving in, from no maintenance of the pathways open to the public, and appalling dredging of the two ponds. Not to mention the abandoning of the old lake, below the Hollins, which was a pleasure ground in Victorian times and hosted annual fetes. It also had the benefit of controlling the water progress of the Cock Beck, useful when the village of Aberford floods. All abandoned, good management… what!
Paragraph Four. The history of the estate, and who owns it is certainly worthy of enquiry, it was last on the books of the Prudential at circa £12M, having been owned by them it then passed to Swiss-Re then back to the Prudential, now we are told it is in the possession of M&G, a subsidiary of the Prudential! Until the recent past the estate was managed by external surveyors, Lane Fox, then Strutt & Parker following a merger, finally it was taken on by Law & Fiennes, so now it seems the M&G group have stepped into the breach.
To Summarise, its GREEN BELT, its GREEN BELT, its GREEN BELT! And oh bye the way a pokey little piece of land adjacent to the Aberford Village Hall, also in green belt has been rejected for a small number of houses, 5 I believe, where the land owner was prepared to fund a new village hall. So where is this idea of community!