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Knowle West residents fight for park’s future Posted On 01 April 2021

Local residents in Knowle are in a battle with Bristol City Council, as a much loved park is being considered as a spot for the development of new housing

 

The park in question is ‘Health Park’, which measures about one and a half football pitches. The park itself is named so because of the effect it has on its users, with local resident Vincent White explaining, ‘The word ‘health’ speaks for itself: it’s a health park and it should remain so’. Health park isn’t just any ordinary park though. As well as a traditional playpark, it also includes a multi-use games area, as well as mounds, outdoor gym equipment and even a measured mile walk, which is used by walking groups, and is designed for people with health conditions. Vincent also spoke of his love of the park, when adding, ‘It’s a safe space to go and there’s plenty of wildlife there as well’.

Health Park is just one of twelve sites that the local council, in partnership with Goram Homes, plans to convert into housing, which could result in a mammoth 1700 new properties.

Heather Williams, the chief executive of Knowle West Health Park, has her own issues, and claims that the plans are too invasive. She said, ‘When you look at what they’ve sectioned off for the use of houses, there isn’t much green space left, and at the moment the green space is really accessible for anybody of any ability. The loss of that much green space would be detrimental to the community’.

Another resident, Katharine Hegarty, who is part of the ‘Knowle West Future’ planning group, holds similar views, and challenged the idea behind the plans. She chose to focus on the initial intentions of the park, saying ‘Anything (that) which would hinder the advantageous use of the space for local residents would be contrary to its original purpose’.

Since these plans were announced, there has been an online meeting, held by the Knowle West Alliance of local residents and organisations. And due to the passionate opinions which locals are displaying, Goram Homes have responded, stating that their focus is on listening to the community. They commented, ‘Due to the high number of responses from local residents we will be having further discussions with the community through the ward councillors and Knowle West Alliance before any pre-application submission is made’.

For any locals who wish to submit an opinion on the development plans, please visit https://www.knowlewest.co.uk/be-part-of-a-group-to-discuss-housing-proposals-at-the-health-park/

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