5th June 2019
The Land Trust is delighted to announce that it has successfully secured the transfer of the public open space at The Avenue in North East Derbyshire, a site with a fascinating history and a bright future.
Once one of Europe’s most polluted sites, the 98-hectare site has benefited from significant investment by Homes England over the last 20 years, and today the 70-hectare public open space comprises an award-winning parkland and wildlife reserve. The remainder of the site will provide homes, a new primary school and employment.
Originally a coking works, employing 800 people and producing 1,400 tons of smokeless fuel a day, the plant was the focal point of the community for three and a half decades. The Land Trust’s vision for the future has echoes of this history, with an opportunity for the site to become the beating heart of the community once more.
Land Trust Chief Executive, Euan Hall, said:
“The Land Trust will build on the successful work we have already done at Avenue Washlands to develop The Avenue as a real community resource. Our placekeeping approach to the resulting green space will showcase how a highly contaminated area can be transformed for the long term to provide significant social value including health and wellbeing benefits for the whole community, increased property values and booming environmental habitats.
“It will be used to bring together existing and new communities and residents and will be a place that future generations can be proud of.”
The Land Trust’s five key charitable objectives of environment and biodiversity, health, economic vitality, community cohesion and education and learning will be the driving force of the Land Trust’s work on the site in the years to come.
“The Avenue Coking Works is a site that will really demonstrate what the Land Trust is all about and our phased, long term approach will continue the brilliant work carried out by Homes England over the last two decades. We have a proven track record of managing sites with challenges like this one and we will work with local residents and community groups to deliver significant charitable outcomes.”
Barry Cummins, General Manager for Land Acquisitions at Homes England said:
“The Avenue has been a collaborative project from the beginning and what’s been achieved to date is testament to the hard work and expertise of all the partners involved. It’s great to see this site being brought back into use, not only to deliver an incredible open space but to also provide much needed homes for the local community and look forward to seeing The Land Trust continuing to develop this valuable community resource.”
It is a privilege to work for an organisation that puts communities at the heart of its work. The knowledge that I am helping to provide a better environment, especially in areas where open green space is in short supply, is what motivates and inspires me.
Victoria Webbon, Estates Officer
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