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Is this how the Edgar Street Grid will turn out?


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'An embarrassment to the city': what went wrong with the £725m gateway to Cambridge?

Initially planned by Richard Rogers, CB1 was to be a world-class arrival point, with park, piazza, heritage centre and affordable homes. Instead, it’s ‘a future slum’ plagued by antisocial behaviour and sex-trafficking.


This article deserves to be read as it looks a carbon copy for what could happen to our city when the developers and planners get together for the Edgar Street Grid.

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(extracts from above article)
 

Visitors arriving by train are now greeted with a generic clone-town scene more like a suburban retail park than an illustrious seat of learning.

 â€œWe were promised a world-class development and a wonderful new public piazza, but we’ve ended up with identikit blocks set around a choked taxi rank. It’s an embarrassment to the city.â€

A long slab of student flats stretches to the south along the railway line, next to a row of four brick apartment blocks looking on to a small lawn, which has been fenced off for the last two years, following a spate of problems. As the only open space provided for the joint use of the 1,000 student apartments and 350 homes – many occupied by young families – it became a contested spot, a single patch of grass catering to small children and student football matches, a place of late-night music and, according to a council report, dope-smoking until the early hours.

“The park has been a disaster,†says Frank Gawthrop, chair of a local residents’ association. “The problems could have been predicted from the beginning – it’s a tiny area for a new neighbourhood of this size. And now the developer has the cheek to ask the council to pay to fix the problems they created.â€

It’s not quite so positive in the eyes of the Cambridgeshire police, called to the development “a disproportionate number of timesâ€, not only to patrol late-night student antics, but to investigate the trafficking of sex workers. “We’ve seen an awful lot of ‘pop-up brothels’,†says Detective Inspector Nick Skipworth, who recently asked the council for extra resources to police the area.

The promised “bus interchange†at the heart of the plan has turned out to be a series of bus stops dotted down a side street. The narrow access road to the station, lined with new apartments on both sides, has led to air-quality issues, with levels found to breach EU guidelines several days last summer. A planned health clinic, along with a new home for the county’s archive and a heritage visitor centre, have all failed to materialise. “All the public benefits of the project have been progressively eaten away,†says Davies. “The resulting place has the makings of a future slum.â€

 . . . the plans were unveiled to breathless coverage in the local paper, with a double-page spread featuring the promised bounty of a “proper transport interchangeâ€, affordable housing, healthcare facilities and a new heritage centre, which was planned to be housed in a majestic old grain silo next to the station. “This is just the sort of infrastructure development we need so desperately,†said its editorial. “Having an architect of the calibre of Lord Rogers on board is a real plus.â€

This unpromising scenario was then exacerbated by further hurdles. The romanesque grain silo, slated for the heritage centre, burned down in 2010, and with it hopes for a cultural facility.

The same year, Brookgate applied to demolish a Victorian terrace along the main station approach road, to make way for a line of bulky office buildings currently under construction. The plan was met with fierce public opposition, prompting 500 objections, and the council accordingly refused permission – only for Brookgate to win on appeal, landing the city with up to £300,000 in legal costs.

The council has been wary of standing in the developer’s way ever since. “The city council is running scared,†says Davies. “They know the market has the upper hand. The weakness of the planning system means they genuinely don’t have the tools to get a better deal for the city.â€

“But the whole place is driven by one thing. If it’s a question between amenities and profit, profit clearly wins.â€

For the Cambridge residents who have been subjected to broken promises for the last decade, the whole saga represents a painful missed opportunity. “We were all taken in by the name Richard Rogers,†says Allan Brigham, a long-standing local historian and Blue Badge guide. “But now it seems they were just using his name as a fig leaf. This was a chance to make a gateway to the city that we could all be proud of. But they’ve blown it.â€

 

I have always felt that local councils create the slums of the future mainly caused by their neglect of basic amenities. They can't even cut the grass of open spaces to a decent standard. There is a grass verge along a footpath here in Newton Farm that has not been cut for over two years and we have weeds growing out of the kerbs. No one accepts responsibilty - they just pass the buck.

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It's like reading the future - so much of it sounds just like the plans for Edgar Street. Has anyone looked into who the developers/architects were for this? I can't help but wonder if they are either the same, or a subsidiary or they are using the same text book to plan city redevelopments

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This article deserves to be read as it looks a carbon copy for what could happen to our city when the developers and planners get together for the Edgar Street Grid.

 

 Looks like a carbon copy lol ... Are you for real.

 

Ragwert read the 1330 comments so far to get the wider picture. Not only in Cambridge, but other places in the UK and coming to Hereford!

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Ragwert read the 1330 comments so far to get the wider picture. Not only in Cambridge, but other places in the UK and coming to Hereford!

Unfortunately this steam train is out of control,going at a 100mph & gaining speed all the while…with no one able to stop it…as the engine driver is slumped all over the controls unconscious from over indulgence,with the doors firmly locked!…we all being powerless to stop it,can only look on while the carnage unfolds!!

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  • 1 month later...

Meeting: Cabinet  
Meeting date: 27 July 2017
Title of report: To approve the appointment of a developer to work in partnership with the council in delivering the development and regeneration programme
Report by: Cabinet member contracts and assets


Key decision  
This is a key decision because it is likely to result in the council incurring expenditure which is, or the making of savings which are, significant having regard to the council’s budget for the service or function to which the decision relates.

Purpose
To approve the appointment of a developer to work in partnership with the council in delivering the development and regeneration programme.

Recommendations

THAT:  
a)  the highest scoring tender (name to be announced at the meeting) be appointed as the preferred bidder to work in partnership to deliver the council’s development and regeneration programme;

b) the director for economy, communities and corporate having consulted with the chief financial officer and cabinet member contracts and assets, and having received satisfactory confirmation of tender commitments, be authorised to complete contractual arrangements with X for a period of 10 years;

c) in the event that satisfactory confirmation of tender commitments is not received from the preferred bidder, the director for economy, communities and corporate, following consultation with the chief financial officer and cabinet member for contracts and assets and having received satisfactory confirmation of tender commitments, be authorised to enter into the contract for the development and regeneration programme with the second highest bidder (‘the reserve bidder’);

d) following completion of contractual arrangements options appraisal and business cases for development of the former Bromyard depot and the Hereford station approach sites be brought forward for consideration as the first phase sites; and

e) thanks are extended to all bidders for the courteous, prompt and productive way in which they have all participated in the procurement.

 

(extracts)

5 The arrangements that have been agreed with the bidders represent the most effective mechanism by which to:

a) Generate the greatest potential to raise capital and revenue receipts from the council’s land holdings, whilst controlling the nature, speed and character of developments;

b) Contribute to the delivery of the target of 800 homes for Hereford city centre and to the housing targets set out within the core strategy;

 

c) Create a commissioning option that supports the emerging objectives of programmes including the economic masterplan, one Herefordshire and one public estate;  

 

d) Underpin the regeneration of the county via a long term pipeline of works

e) Target the use of local labour and local supply chain, creating jobs, apprenticeships, training and education initiatives and provide support for local SMEs for third sector groups and the community;  

f) Improve skills and educational attainment and enable the development of new economic activity to address the problem of low wages in the county;

g) Facilitate collaborative working between partners conducting developments within the county.

6 The council’s corporate plan 2016-2020 includes the following strategic priorities: helping residents to live safe, healthy, independent lives; keep children and young people safe and give them a great start in life; support the growth of our economy; and to secure better services, quality of life and value for money.

55 The overarching agreement commits the council to a strategic partnering arrangement with its chosen partner/developer whereby the council makes available specified council sites exclusively to the partner/developer for first call on potential development. The partner/developer writes a development programme (and refreshes it annually for council cabinet approval, always at partner/developer cost) and then either the council or partner/developer seeks to call off new projects from the development programme. The partner/developer only makes a financial return/profit if it successfully implements a new project.  

56 It is appropriate for the council to enter into the overarching agreement. The term is for 10 years and does not have an earlier termination date. The decision whether to agree to projects will be a decision for cabinet and will have its own terms and conditions.


Plenty to read in this report and lots of opportunity for the Council to cock up again. Will we see Hereford Futures resurrected under another name?

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Jarvis

Amey
Edgar Street Grid Limited
Edgar Street Grid (Hereford) Limited
ESG Herefordshire Ltd
Hereford Futures Limited
BBLP
Hoople
 
Each and every one an unmitigated disaster for the people of Herefordshire - sold to Councillors by journeymen more interested in another notch on their cv than the good of the County (and none of them held to account), with the promised millions of savings turning to just the opposite, probably costing us tens of millions. Yet, here we are again, on the cusp of the same costly mistake once more. Utter madness.
 
The Council have conclusively demonstrated that they are wholly incapable of managing even a simple £1m refurbishment at Blueschool House - what chance have we got with yet another 10 year 'partnership'? The big boys will be rubbing their hands together in glee - bonus time!
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'An embarrassment to the city': what went wrong with the £725m gateway to Cambridge?

 

Initially planned by Richard Rogers, CB1 was to be a world-class arrival point, with park, piazza, heritage centre and affordable homes. Instead, it’s ‘a future slum’ plagued by antisocial behaviour and sex-trafficking.

 

 

This article deserves to be read as it looks a carbon copy for what could happen to our city when the developers and planners get together for the Edgar Street Grid.

The real problem with that development is where its been built.The station is badly located out of town (1 mile).Terrible local bus service.Most people

who arrive by train at the station have to use a taxi to get into the City and most people who use it arrive by car or have bought one of the posh expensive flats.

As one person says it's full of expensive flats for commuters to London and boring chain shops/restaurants.

This development is huge.To compare it to what is being built on the link road is laughable.

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Thank you all for these links. Call me simple but when are we getting the 800 new homes on the "Urban Village"? I thought these were going to be built alongside the City Link Road, and yet I have seen no planning applications to move these much needed homes onto development. I thought there had been a planning application approved a few years ago for some supported accommodation at the end of the football club ground. This site would be ideal for older people to move to as they would be closer to all the services, and as buses have been cut, if you are no longer able to drive you need to live close to shops, doctors,hospitals, etc. Friends at The Rose Gardens off Ledbury Road find it so convenient for town and meeting friends. Surely University students wont need to live right in the centre of Hereford - I thought they were going to be working with employers based at the Rotherwas Enterprise Zone and at other employment sites outside of the City centre.

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Thank you all for these links. Call me simple but when are we getting the 800 new homes on the "Urban Village"? I thought these were going to be built alongside the City Link Road, and yet I have seen no planning applications to move these much needed homes onto development. I thought there had been a planning application approved a few years ago for some supported accommodation at the end of the football club ground. This site would be ideal for older people to move to as they would be closer to all the services, and as buses have been cut, if you are no longer able to drive you need to live close to shops, doctors,hospitals, etc. Friends at The Rose Gardens off Ledbury Road find it so convenient for town and meeting friends. Surely University students wont need to live right in the centre of Hereford - I thought they were going to be working with employers based at the Rotherwas Enterprise Zone and at other employment sites outside of the City centre.

The only planning appI have seen is for two retail units on Blackfriars Street where the furniture place was with 56 flats behind for social housing 

I very much doubt 800 'homes' will be built in and around the link road.

Plans for a new fire & police station & acc for Uni students along with a new county bus terminal have scuppered the original plan for the area.

 

 

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I very much doubt 800 'homes' will be built in and around the link road.

Plans for a new fire & police station & acc for Uni students along with a new county bus terminal have scuppered the original plan for the area.

Sorry but I thought my taxpayers money for this road, along with the funding which I thought came from the Homes and Communities body, was to enable the Urban Village. Even the Council's slick 2020 propaganda website says "The recent development of the Old Market leisure complex has been extremely successful and the City Link Road will allow land in the Edgar Street Grid area of Hereford to be further developed as an ‘urban village’. This urban village will help address the county’s housing needs and help make Herefordshire a more attractive place to live, work and visit. Around a third of the development will be affordable housing to help attract younger people to Hereford city." http://www.hereford2020.com/hereford-city-improvements/ . 

Is even the Council's own propaganda machine not being told the truthOr cannot they no longer lie consistently we now seem to have 2 Council websites?

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From Herefordshire Council News - Thursday, 27th July 2017

Keepmoat appointed as ‘preferred bidder’ to work in partnership with the council to realise housing targets
 

Herefordshire Council’s ambitious plans for growth are a step closer to delivery with the appointment of Keepmoat Homes Ltd (Keepmoat) as a ‘preferred bidder’ to become the council’s partner developer at cabinet today, Thursday 27 July 2017.

Keepmoat, once officially appointed, will contribute to the delivery of 800 homes for Hereford city centre and to the housing targets set for the county, of which a significant number will be enabled by the Hereford Bypass.

As a partner developer, Keepmoat will use local labour and the local supply chain, creating jobs, apprenticeships, training and education opportunities in the construction industry.

Councillor Harry Bramer, cabinet member contracts and assets said:

“The appointment of Keepmoat as our preferred bidder and subsequently our partner developer means that the council retains its ability to raise capital from the council’s land holdings, whilst controlling the nature, speed and character of the county’s development.

Keepmoat will provide support for local businesses, third sector groups and the community as well as improving skills and educational attainment through training and apprenticeships. This in turn will enable the development of new economic activity to address the problem of low wages in the county.â€

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