Plans to enhance the south bank of the River Wharfe next to Ilkley Playhouse, and to the north of Castle Road allotments, took a big step forward last week, when the town council agreed to back the next phase of the project.
The initial phases have involved a consultation with local residents and key community groups. This identified broad support for a project to make more of the site as a community asset for people and wildlife.
Members of Climate Action Ilkley’s Nature, Food and Water Group have already completed a study of site constraints, liaising with amongst others, Ilkley Civic Society, BMDC, Yorkshire Water and West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service.
A detailed botanical survey of the site has been undertaken by Wharfedale Naturalists Society.
The team has also developed a funding strategy, with the backing of the town council the next phase will now involve a topographical survey and the development of a landscape masterplan for the site.
The masterplan will be developed collaboratively with local firm PWP Design Limited, taking account of the ideas contributed by local people.
A second public consultation will proceed in the autumn. It is hoped that, subject to funding, planting work will commence towards the end of 2021. Further work will be planned in discrete stages, with each stage only commenced when full funding has been secured.
At the meeting of the Green Spaces, Environment and Sustainability Committee, on 13th July, the Chair, Councillor Ros Brown, thanked CAI for their submission and stated “The committee is delighted to support this proposal. We look forward to seeing a masterplan for the site that takes on board the views of the community and wider stakeholders. We hope that the project will enhance this significant area of green space for both people and wildlife.”
Volunteers are needed Tuesday evening to help rake the grass, a spokesperson for the group said: “If you've got a spare hour on Tuesday evening 7pm until 8.30pm, please consider coming to help up rake up the grass cuttings on the Playhouse slope. You'll need gardening gloves and study footwear. If you have your own rake, bring it along.“