I went to a meeting this evening about the development of Sheaf Valley Park. I was quite encouraged, as it seems we are close to finding the money to create a well lit disabled access path from the tram stop to the new events arena, which will be carved out of the top of the hill, near Norfolk Road.There will be consultations on these plans, with a stall in the railway station and Winter Gardens soon. The main problem with the plans at present is they include chopping down about 40 trees (chestnuts and maples)to make way for the path. But these will be replaced with a great variety of trees, bringing much more colour and interest to the park.There is also a plan to invest in a spectacular display of bulbs, bringing a blaze of colour to the hillside.
I can’t yet find the latest plans on the Council website, but will add a link here when I have it. Do have a look at the plans and tell the Council what you think.
One interesting talking point was the cobbles. Some people love this original feature, but they make the paths inaccessible for wheelchair users and difficult for buggies etc. The consensus of the meeting was to make a tarmac path wide enough for a wheelchair user at the side of the cobbles.
I was hoping the lighting might be powered from renewable sources such as solar or small wind turbines as you often now see on motorways. The budget does not stretch to that, but the lighting will be white light, not yellow, which will make the park look much more attractive.
The team are still hopeful that they may win further grants, but at the moment the money originally planned to build the terraces for the events arena is what is paying for the path and lighting. If more grants are forthcoming the terracing may be able to go ahead too. Work is expected to start on the scheme next spring. I certainly think the path and lighting should take priority.