A big thank you to everyone who signed our petition asking JRHT to stop using central square as a builder’s compound. We had a fantastic response, with 344 signatures from 296 households, in just seven days. All on paper, too.
We also had a good response from JRHT. We delivered it by email on Thursday 6 May, and the following day Chris Simpson – JRHT’s executive director – asked us for a meeting on the Monday to discuss the issues.
We made three main points,
(a) the compound is located in the worst possible place because it’s the most densely populated part of the site, and
(b) without a central compound, works only disturb those adjacent to the works. With a central compound all works disturb people around the compound, who never see an end to it.
(c) if central square weren’t available, some other space would be found appropriate to each set of works, perhaps on an adjacent verge for example.
JRHT promised to review their works program, to try to reduce the use of the compound in three ways: (a) to reduce the size of the compound, (b) to use it for less disturbing purposes, and (c) to use it for less time.
We think it should only be used for works adjacent to the compound: such as levelling the roads outside Barron House and Newman House. The compound should certainly not be used for works outside of Seebohm Quarter, and not where there’s a suitable, more local alternative.
Phase 5 construction.
The good news is that Evans Homes have agreed that they don’t need to use the compound, so it won’t be used to assist with the development of phase 5. We’re very happy about that.
Stephenson quarter roads.
We’re still waiting to hear about these works. The bad news here is that the works on phase 1 are expected to take nine months. And we don’t like the plans, which we have not been consulted on.
We’re particularly unhappy about changes to the road surface, and the proposed removal of granite cobbles and kerbs.
We continue to argue that construction traffic should not be crossing the cycle path, and that materials should be stored adjacent to the works. That will reduce movements of materials and vehicles, and we’ve not heard convincing arguments that there are any benefits for anybody except DWH.
Seebohm quarter roads.
We accept that the using the compound to help fix the roads around the flats makes sense. Any other solution would probably be more disruptive even to residents of Barron House and Newman House.
We’re against the use of the Central Square compound for off site works. This includes the resurfacing of Fifth Avenue, upgrade of the private part of Fifth Avenue, and works on the junctions at Fifth Avenue/Tang Hall Lane, and Meadlands/Bad Bargain Lane.
We don’t yet know what is proposed for these works, but want to make our position clear. We also don’t know of any other proposed off site works related to Derwenthorpe.
We also think that Central Square should not be considered at all for works that are not yet planned, except where those works are immediately adjacent to Central Square.
We accept that there are works required to finish the estate, including phase 5, and that those works will cause some disturbance. However our guiding principles in this are: (a) except where strictly unavoidable, works should not disturb people that will not benefit from those works, and (b) we believe the road construction works are required because DWH failed to get them right first time, so we don’t think that their convenience or costs should be taken as material considerations when selecting locations for storage materials.
We do believe that JRHT are working hard to find better solutions. We know that they want to, and trust that these will be forthcoming.
NB: edited 5 June 2021 to correct Chris Simpson’s title. He’s not CEO, he’s chief executive.