Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cabinet endorsed the Lache Action Plan at their meeting last week.
Councillor Nathan Pardoe, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy, Regeneration and Digital Transformation explained that the extensive consultation has led to four specific projects being identified.
Councillor Pardoe confirmed:
“It’s great news that Cabinet endorsed the Lache Action Plan and the four projects within it, which have been shaped by the Lache community and are truly local priorities.
“There is funding in place for the improvements to the Lache Community Centre from the Council’s Climate fund and Council funding for the Sycamore Drive play area. All of the projects are at different points in funding, but the redevelopment of the Sycamore Drive play area is making very good progress and is on track to be completed by Spring 2024. I’m sure it will prove popular with local families.
"Improvements to traffic management on Hawthorn Road and Poplar Place have also been taken forward, and there are plans to improve the Backies as a wildlife area.”
The Sycamore Drive play area has been designed following conversations with young people and has safety at its core as well as ensuring it will be appealing to all users.
Councillor Pardoe also reassured residents that there were no plans to build on or re-develop the Sidings.
The Plan was described as a truly local plan, thanks to the input from many residents. The road improvements will make it safer for children travelling to school whilst an area that has been subject to fly tipping in the past will be transformed into an area for residents to enjoy and could become a Lache Country Park.
The Plan was produced following consultation with over 500 people plus a series of public meetings to review and help shape emerging ideas over the last year, to make Lache even better and support community regeneration in the ward.
The four Action Plan projects recommended, that have strong support from the community.
- Lache Park (Sycamore Drive) – invest in new children’s play equipment, including inclusive play, to support improved facilities for children. Extensive consultation has taken place with residents and children on the options and designs. There is secured funding of £225,000 plus fees for project management from the Council’s capital programme, section 106 developer contributions and several private trusts via a Spacehive campaign. A task and finish group has been established and works are currently being tendered for delivery in 2024.
- Backies/LAPA Field –– proposal to improve 8-hectare former landfill area for wildlife and residents to enjoy as a green space amenity. A biodiversity study has been undertaken, and an initial sketch design has been developed. A task and finish group has been established.
- Lache Community Centre – proposal to refurbish the existing building to improve facilities for residents and help improve its financial and environmental sustainability. An extensive community consultation took place between June and September 2023; an energy and carbon reduction report has been completed. A task and finish group has been established.
- Traffic/road improvements on Hawthorn Road and Poplar Place – Consider options to better manage traffic, making it safer to walk or cycle, and improving the way the area looks and feels. Traffic surveys were undertaken led by the Council’s Transport team, with initial design options now being developed. A task and finish group is being established.
Added Councillor Pardoe:
“Sometimes regeneration means huge things being constructed, and sometimes it means things on a smaller scale. Either way, it always brings positive change to a community, which is exactly what these four projects for Lache will achieve.
“The development of the Lache Action Plan involved hundreds of Lache residents and different community groups, with opportunities to take part in surveys and public meetings. I would like to thank all involved in shaping these plans, and the council staff for their hard work and commitment to Lache. I look forward to seeing these projects move forward.”