Masterplan unveiled for redevelopment of Little Lindow

Plans have been unveiled to redevelop Little Lindow which is seen as an important gateway to Wilmslow as it sits on one of the main roads into the town centre - Altrincham Road.

Wilmslow Town Council and Cheshire East Council have agreed to co-fund a joint project to redevelop the park, which is designated local green space in the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan due to its 'special character, significance and community value'.

Plans for Little Lindow include:

  • Moving the play area from the rear of the site to the front corner,
  • Improving the play area by adding wooden 'Adventure play' equipment and a new path,
  • Replacing, relocating and increasing the seating,
  • Improving the current path across the site,
  • Adding plants, bushes and trees,
  • Pruning existing trees to allow more light into the area,
  • Adding nesting boxes for birds and bats.

The total cost of the project will be £157,829. Cheshire East Council will fund £70,000 of the overall amount through S106 developer contributions, whilst Wilmslow Town Council will contribute £90,000, which includes a small contingency.

£47,000 of Wilmslow Town Council's contribution will come from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) money already received from developers that must be spent in the West Ward of Wilmslow, and on infrastructure needed to support the development of their area.

Ansa Environmental Services (a Cheshire East Council company) will organise and oversee the work which is anticipated to be completed by this Autumn.

Wilmslow Town Council Chairman, Martin Watkins, said of the project, "Little Lindow is an area in the heart of our town with huge potential. We are proud to partner with Cheshire East Council on such a significant project, which will restore the importance of the site and make Little Lindow a place that can be enjoyed by residents, town centre staff, visitors and wildlife alike."

Councillor Mick Warren, Chair of Cheshire East Council's Environment and Communities Committee, said, "It is fantastic news that work will soon be beginning at Little Lindow and the project will see a number of improvements and additions being made.

"Through this collaboration with Wilmslow Town Council, we can give the town's residents and visitors a fantastic community facility to enjoy."

Mark Goldsmith, Ward Councillor for Cheshire East and Wilmslow Town Council said, "I am delighted Wilmslow Town Council has agreed to help fund these plans. When I was elected, I wanted to transform this unloved and under-used park into something the whole community could enjoy. Getting both councils to collaborate on this project means all these improvements can be implemented in one go. It means Wilmslow can enjoy all the benefits of this project far sooner than if either of the councils acted alone."

Photos: Wilmslow Town Council Chairman, Martin Watkins, with Mark Goldsmith, Wilmslow West Councillor for Wilmslow Town Council and Cheshire East Council. Little Lindow Masterplan, Aerial photograph of Little Lindow and Little Lindow Site Anaylsis.

Cheshire East Council, Little Lindow, Wilmslow Town Council


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

John Harries
Wednesday 12th January 2022 at 3:11 pm
Call me a cynic but has the adventure playground been moved so as not to compromise the capital return (to CEC) of the 'exciting' residential development (not forgetting the Cheshire Police help desk cum 'phone 'hot line' that will be readily available to the lucky citizens of Wilmslow) vision of the future replacing the redundant (unnecessary...!) police station.
I trust the playground doesn't become too popular (as has a similar facility in The Carrs, located near St. Barts.) because Little Lindow has absolutely nowhere for outlying visitors to 'considerately' park their cars.
Terry Roeves
Wednesday 12th January 2022 at 3:26 pm
John is correct, where will visitors park?
William McQueen
Wednesday 12th January 2022 at 6:34 pm
What bright spark came up with the idea of relocating the childrens play area from the safety of the back of the park, to the front corner - at the junction of two busy roads. I'm sure this doesn't pass H&S rules for kids and I can only see mothers of small kids boycotting the area.

Revamping the path etc is worth a go, but it has been done before, with no effect on people using this place. This area is little used because of its location. It sees passing pedestrians occasionally but its not a destination due to its location, lack of parking and the proximity of busy traffic. Seems like someone in CEC has £157k burning a hole in their pocket. Why not spend that money on something more useful; like fixing the drains and gullies which constantly overflow, potholes (obviously) or even as a contribution to social care in the borough?
If you want this junction to be the gateway to Wilmslow; buy a sign saying "Welcome to Wilmslow". I know a guy who can do that for 50 quid.
Fiona Doorbar
Wednesday 12th January 2022 at 7:53 pm
Stop wasting money and fill in more potholes !
Brian Hall
Thursday 13th January 2022 at 6:28 am
It seems this is a "fait accompli" already. I wonder who the contractors are and who they know!! As for moving the playground why not go the "whole hog" and put it on the little triangle at the junction of Hawthorn Street and Water Lane/Altrincham Road??
Julie Green
Thursday 13th January 2022 at 2:42 pm
This park has had few visitors since its last re-vamp 30 or so years ago. The park used to have only the boundary trees and the swings etc were clearly visible from the road. It was a big mistake to line the path across the park with more trees as the kids have lost the football space and you can hardly tell there is any more to the park beyond as it is so dark. Bringing the play equipment to the front would be an improvement as long as it has fencing around for safety and to keep dogs out. Regarding parking, well sorry but not needed - walk!! It serves plenty of nearby streets less than 5 minutes walk.
Mark Goldsmith
Thursday 13th January 2022 at 5:30 pm
To address the comments so far:

- These plans were started by Cheshire East in June 2020, delayed by Covid, then first discussed with Wilmslow Town Council in June 2021. Cheshire Constabulary announced its plans to develop the police station in September 2021. Therefore, the two are not linked.

- This park is a short distance from 500 school pupils aged under 11, thousands of town centre staff and hundreds of 2 or 3 bed houses with small gardens and young families. All of them can benefit from this improvement.

- Anyone travelling by car can use the town centre car parks. Browns Lane and South Oak Lane both have good, popular play areas but don’t have dedicated car parks either. People mostly walk there instead.

- 75% of this funding can ONLY be spent on recreational facilities in Wilmslow. This is stipulated in the legal agreements that generates the money from developers. Therefore, it cannot be spent on fixing potholes or social care.

- Our road gullies are now routinely cleared every two years, so don't need extra funding.

- This is costing council tax payers £43,000 of the total cost of £157,000. In comparison, £43,000 would buy Wilmslow 2/3 of a zebra crossing instead.

- ANSA Parks (a CE owned company), will oversee the work and be monitored by the town council. Any work the council teams cannot do will be awarded through the legally required tender process.

- The playground will be TOWARDS the front corner. Not ON the front corner. There will be ample grass outside of the play area for safety.

- The old playground will be grassed over to become an impromptu ball games area. Currently, ball games are next to the road, so balls can easily go into the road. Therefore, this new layout is far safer.

- There is an air-quality monitoring site on Hawthorn St, that shows the new play area will be in a position way, way below the governments criteria for air pollution.

- Photographs from the 1930s show the path across the park was created by the volume of people walking it. Currently, it is a mud bath but the new paths will be all-weather ones.

The current play facilities at Little Lindow are described on Google as “Like an abandoned play area at Chernobyl” and I find it hard to disagree. Not everyone in Wilmslow has access to a large garden, especially in this area of the town, so improving this park is long overdue.

While some may regard this as an unsuitable use of public money, I think that says more about them than it does about the council. If local councils cannot provide nice parks for children and adults to enjoy, then what exactly is the point of local councils?

Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Wilmslow West & Chorley
Stuart Redgard
Thursday 13th January 2022 at 9:16 pm
Well said Julie & Mark
Jonathan Follows
Friday 14th January 2022 at 7:21 am
I get the feeling that councils in general and ours in particular have problems spending the S106 and CIL money they obtain, and this proposed use of the money appears to be in line with its purpose, so I'm definitely in favour of the proposal and grateful to Mark Goldsmith for his explanation.
John Harries
Friday 14th January 2022 at 6:06 pm
The whole site (not just the green Little Lindow portion under discussion) has, in living history, ALWAYS been a Wilmslow 'civic' site (apart from a small area off Alma Lane which way back was a catholic church and later, a scout's hall - fire station, WUDC site for refuse/road and highways services, ambulance station, health services facility, police station and related vehicle parking - all facilities that one way or other benefited the local community.
I'm not entirely sure about the more recent ambulance unit but as far as I can tell only the fire station will survive the development proposal and all the rest is given over to private [don't let us overlook what CEC describe as 'exciting' aspect] residential development.
Don't be deluded, we all know the adventure playground will attract more than just local foot traffic (the similar site off Cliff Road albeit gateway to the whole of The Carrs) is current proof of that, particularly in the warmer months - I did notice there was no ice cream/coffee stand included in the illustrated provisional scheme....why, it's all part of the current council Disney psyche!
I'm utterly opposed to the residential development as it is a scheme to generate cash for CEC to squander somewhere else - just see what Wilmslow inherited from our other civic sites of Remenham and Green Hall. At least preserve the whole of the existing boundaries, protect the mature trees and keep it essentially a safe green and pleasant zone for the community to enjoy in perpetuity.
Simon Worthington
Sunday 16th January 2022 at 1:17 pm
This has all the stench of Wilmslow property deals of 1975-2000. Gibson’s yard and the (co-op) office block on Water Lane to name just two where the council of the time was in it up to their neck!
The “coincidence “ of the Police announcement should not surprise any of us.
It is time for a total overhaul of councils, central gubmint, RNHS and the police. Stuffed to the gills with incompetent (common purpose trained) grifters looting the taxpayers pocket and in thrall to big business especially the criminal big pharma. The bought media is no better especially our national broadcaster with the longest nose in history!
Mark Goldsmith
Sunday 16th January 2022 at 1:35 pm
@John Harries

Please stop linking this park upgrade and Cheshire East Council to any possible redevelopment of the police station.

Each emergency service adjacent to the park has independently owned and administered their respective sites for decades. Wilmslow Urban District Council did once own the land but they were disbanded in 1974.

Cheshire Constabulary's decision to develop the police station was solely theirs and only they will gain financially from it. Therefore, Cheshire East DOES NOT describe it as an “exciting residential opportunity” nor will it “generate cash for CEC to squander somewhere else”. Both your claims are simply untrue.

Cheshire East’s ONLY involvement will be to judge any planning application Cheshire Constabulary may propose.

Little Lindow has been a public park since at least 1876 and is owned by Cheshire East. As these plans show, it will remain a public park regardless of any redevelopment around it.
Ade Whitaker
Tuesday 18th January 2022 at 7:37 am
@Mark Goldsmith

Thanks for clarifying - I was struggling to see where any residential development was happening on these plans for the park.

I was however surprised by your earlier comment "Our road gullies are now routinely cleared every two years, so don't need extra funding". This seems woefully inadequate considering the amount of leaves (please don't take this as a plea to cut down all our beautiful trees), climate change, the constantly blocked storm drains and the amount of flooding that our local roads suffer. I would expect our gullies to be cleaned several times a year as part of a proper preventative maintenance schedule.
Mark Goldsmith
Tuesday 18th January 2022 at 2:19 pm

Clearing gullies every two years is common practice among councils as this is about the optimum time for efficiency. Outside of this, our roads are swept more regularly by a ride on sweeping machine that helps keep debris from entering the gullies.

Previously, Wilmslow's gullies were only cleared when they flooded. However, the new council administration bought two new specialist lorries, so we could introduce a preventative maintenance program. You can check when your gully was last cleared and when it is due next by visiting the link below:

Just click on the "Online Gully Checker", type in your post code and zoom into the gully nearest you to see when it was last emptied and when it is due next.

Last year I was only contacted about one problem gully, which was flooding across driveways on Bourne St. It was not flooding into the properties, so went into the ongoing work program. It took about 4 weeks for the councils Highways team to come and clear the blockage but this included applying for a road closure order and putting out signs beforehand informing cars not to park there on the intended day. When they arrived, they closed the road, diverted traffic, then jetted the problem gully and those either side too, before checking the blockage was gone. Heavy rains soon afterwards confirmed all was okay.

If any other residents have a gully problem then you can report it through the same link above or else contact your local councillor who can help. It gets more tricky when the blockage is not in the gully but is in the drains as this becomes a United Utilities issue.

However, overall I think the perception that our gullies are a major problem is a legacy of the old policy and doesn't reflect the current situation.
Tony Haluradivth
Thursday 20th January 2022 at 8:44 am
It is a good use of funding (who can argue against play grounds), but also in future perhaps a Council lawyer and our Councillors should appeal and get the terms and conditions of the way money can be spent widened. Our roads are in a parlous state for motorists and cyclists. Developers add (over time) to the degradation of the roads and contribute far more to the disrepair than the average motorist. Heavy Plant equipment/excavators and endless HGVs cause tremendous damage so it seems only right and fair that they should contribute to the repair going forward.