Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Critics prompt revision of Stratford Riverside Corridor scheme

Radical changes are to be made to Stratford’s Riverside Corridor Project in an attempt to win over a sceptical public to the scheme.

The Fisherman's Car Park (46007156)
The Fisherman's Car Park (46007156)

Last week Stratford District Council and Stratford Town Trust revealed the full results of its public consultation in January and outlined the changes it would make after considering the feedback.

Crucially the plans to expand the Fisherman’s Car Park, a major source of contention with a sizable chunk of residents, have been dramatically scaled back.

Instead of expanding the facility to up to 500 spaces, an 75 additional spaces at the site are now planned, bringing the overall total to around 125.

During the consultation some suggested that making better use of the underused leisure centre car park was a better solution than enlarging the Fisherman’s Car Park and now the Council and the Trust have agreed to look into this.

A feasibility study into a new link road from Warwick Road into the leisure centre car park will be commissioned, an idea which as well as providing extra parking, could alleviate congestion.

Electric car charging points are now planned in the leisure centre car park, where trees will also be planted to soften its appearance and provide shade.

General concerns about overdevelopment of the existing green space have led to a pledge from the Council and Town Trust to deliver a simpler pared back scheme compared with the original, which would mean fewer pathways.

Toilet facilities are still part of the plan, but the organisations say there will be work to try and blend this in with the environment.

Other changes include a new jetty providing safe access for rivercraft and additional fishing pegs in quieter parts of the river.

It’s fair to say that the results of the consultation into the original proposal were mixed with 50 per cent of respondents saying they did not support the project, 35 per cent were in support and 15 per cent undecided.

Opposition to extending the Fisherman’s Car Park was even higher with 54 per cent against, 24 per cent for and the rest providing no opinion.

Sara Aspley, Chief Executive from Stratford Town Trust said: “We’ve listened carefully to a wide range of views from the public and key local stakeholders as part of the consultation on the initial concept design. The feedback has clearly highlighted the value of a revitalised green space for the residents of the town and the benefits of providing Stratford with another valuable asset to aid post Covid-19 recovery.”

The big question is are these changes enough to win round the doubters?

The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed to fund the Riverside Corridor Project to the tune of £1.5million with the district council likely to contribute an extra £500,000.

The award of such significant funding was quite a coup, but that does come with pressure to deliver a project, and failing to do so could make it more difficult to win other funding bids.

The rationale for making changes at the river is that it would reduce congestion, pollution, allow more people to access the natural area, boost tourism and help Stratford recover from the effects of the pandemic.

The Town Trust and Stratford District Council are working with the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and environmental consultancy Middlemarch Environmental, with a focus on protecting and enhancing wildlife areas within the site and studies will take place in the coming weeks as the project develops.

The Wildlife Trust have said the land could benefit from better management to improve diversity.

Tony Perks, Deputy Chief Executive at Stratford District Council said: “In progressing into the next stage of design development, which will evaluate and respond to feedback with a revised plan, the project team have through Tandem Projects, engaged the design services of Design with Nature.”

Last month the district council’s intention to restore the River Meadow near the Fisherman’s Car Park, connected to the Riverside Corridor Project, got off to a shaky start as protestors attempted to stop a hay cut, fearing its effect on nesting birds.

The district council said the site had been checked by an ecologist to ensure no nesting birds were disturbed and defended the timing of the work saying it needed to take place in a narrow window between the meadow drying out after flooding and the start of the bird nesting season in April.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More