Story by Neill Schofield
At the September meeting of the council’s planning board, the revised restoration plan for the closed Parkwood Springs landfill site was finally approved by councillors. The Friends of Parkwood Springs have won some improvements to the proposals, including planting more
appropriate to the site and a network of paths. There was still no date given as to when full public access would be granted despite the Friends of Parkwood Springs consistently pressing for changes to enable earlier safe public access – this has been delayed by Viridor’s management of the site. However, partial access will be obtained a year before completion which is predicted to be around 2020 when a fence will be moved. This will allow people to visit the southern end of the site which will have wetland/pond areas providing a great habitat for wildlife. There will also be a new broad path through the area, coming up from Neepsend to join the path behind the Standish Estate. Viridor must draw up a Public Access Scheme to be approved by the City Council by September 2018. Then the agreed improvements will need to be made within months.
The scheme will extend public access every two years. There will also be an Access Liaison Group set up within the next six months. Residents and interest groups are able to join and will have the opportunity to make suggestions.