At Prudhoe Hospital site last weekend, with Robert Forsythe, Paul Muto, Claudia Smit, Philip Hindmarsh and myself: we spent 2 hours going round the vast Prudhoe Hospital site. With me were various of the local residents who are interested in the site for many reasons. I stress that our motley crew is not an exclusive list - just people passionate about how this site is to be treated in the future and willing to take on a very chilly Saturday morning!
We asked ourselves as local residents how we would like to see the site developed, if this is going to happen. We knew that Prudhoe Town Council, to its great credit, have previously carried out an extensive consultation a couple of years ago, with the local community, on the potential usage of the site. We began the process and discussion and assessment of the potential for new housing, the type and nature of such housing, the status and likely use of the Prudhoe Hall, and the potential usage as part of any redevelopment of the Prudhoe Walled Garden. We walked the extent of the site that is available on public land and spent some time having a good look at the outline draft plans from Gentoo. I have sat down on Monday 3rd February and written to Gentoo and the Homes and Communities Agency and sought a better understanding of a number of issues namely:
- what is the proposed housing mix?
- can any of the present buildings be used on an ongoing basis?
- have ISOS or other housing providers been offered any of the sites?
- whether the Walled Garden can be preserved for community use, rather than sold off?
- how the proposed building scheme will dovetail with the objectives of the local woodland groups?
- what is the prosposed transport plan, in particular bus routes?
- what is the fate and potential usage of the pavilion style building - correctly compared to Bexhill's De La Warr pavilion?
And generally a request that that these 2 key partners in the development of a massive site sit down with the MP, and local people, and give answers to a number of questions that are as yet unresolved.
Robert Forsythe has written a much more detailed blog on the site, and our visit, which can be found here: http://robertatforsythe.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/prudhoe-faces-yet-another-development.html