THERE are hopes that a landfill site in the Lache could one day become a country park to the emulate the one at the Countess of Chester.

Cheshire West and Chester’s ruling cabinet has approved the Lache Action Plan which aims to regenerate the housing estate with funding already in place to improve the Sycamore Field play facilities.

The plan covers four key projects;

  • Lache Park (Sycamore Drive) – investment in new children’s play equipment, including inclusive play, to support improved facilities for children.
  • Backies/LAPA Field – proposal to improve an eight-hectare former landfill area for wildlife and residents to enjoy as a green space amenity.
  • Lache Community Centre – proposal to refurbish the existing building to improve facilities for local residents and help improve its financial and environmental sustainability.
  • 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.

Introducing a report to members Cllr Nathan Pardoe (Lab), cabinet member for inclusive economy, regeneration and digital transformation, rejected comments from members of the public that locals had not been fully engaged with in putting the plan together.

He said: “I don’t think the public were absent. It’s not to say more couldn’t have been done but I don’t think the public were absent completely, I don’t think that’s correct.”

Cllr Pardoe said the improvements at Hawthorn Road were still a priority.

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He added that projects are at different stages of funding but plans for Sycamore Field are making really good progress and on track to be complete by spring 2024.

Cllr Pardoe also emphasised that despite residents’ fears, there is absolutely no council proposal to sell off or build on ‘The Sidings’.

The plan was welcomed by Lache Cllr Alex Tate (Lab), who said the plans could change the image of the estate, particularly the landfill area which could have potential for country park status.

“Residents have often said they feel overlooked by the council in favour of larger wards with a similar socio-economic profile”, she said.

Chester and District Standard: Lache Cllr Alex TateLache Cllr Alex Tate (Image: Cheshire West and Chester Council)

“It’s very clear council investment and regeneration of this ward is urgently needed to improve the health and wellbeing of its residents.”

“The road traffic improvements will make school routes safer, encouraging more walking and cycling.

“The replacement of the dilapidated children’s play area in Sycamore Field with a new accessible facility id planned to being next spring.”

Cllr Tate added: “The very exciting proposal to redevelop the former landfill, which is not an overgrown, unusable area mainly being used for fly-tipping will become an area for wildlife and residents to enjoy as green space which could develop to become a Lache country park, similar to the beautiful Countess country park which overcame a similar contamination issue.

“This development plan will have an immediate effect of the perceived negative image of Lache and we will see instead a great place where people are proud to grow, work, live and just enjoy being there.”

When put to the vote, the plan was endorsed by the cabinet.