Rebirth campaign of Paignton fighting to save Parkfield
The Renaissance of Paignton campaign was started by a passionate group whose latest battle involves both Parkfield House and the adjacent £ 6million youth center.
Hands Off Parkfield activists say it is depressing how the grand house and gardens in a prime location at the Preston end of the promenade have been left derelict.
“We have a vacant Parkfield House now that Children’s Services has moved,” said Richard Kaskow, who has been campaigning with the Paignton Town and Preston Community Partnership to take over Parkfield since 2017.
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“Our advisers must not allow the Torbay Development Agency to choose this building.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to acquire a listed Victorian house, with lawned and walled gardens, a stable block and woodland, in a superb waterfront location opposite the north end of Paignton Green.
“It is a superb listed building as described in great detail in historic England.
“The community must be given time to work with our advisors to fully explore the feasibility of taking over this building. It is our aspiration to reclaim Parkfield House as an integral part of the Paignton Renaissance.”
Paignton has been described as one of the most beautiful Victorian towns in the West Country “a garden town by the sea”.
Torbay Council is currently working with the community to develop a pedestrianization plan for Torbay Road and Station Square.
Chris Harvey, Vice-President of the Paignton Neighborhood Forum, said: “It is both depressing and inspiring to walk around the old Parkfield House. How could this have happened?
“The ambitions of the Community Partnership and the Neighborhood Forum are to rekindle the community spirit that existed before but has been allowed to fade in recent years. “
He said local community leaders had been working on the neighborhood plan for eight years – and other members of the community partnership group had been working for more than 12 years.
Now the two groups are working together because they feel there has not been proper consultation on Parkfield House and to allow the community to use the youth center when not in use.
The failed £ 6million Parkfield Center is currently in use by the Medical Tuition Service, which moved there when Halswell House was declared unfit for use in 2018 by Ofsted.
A report said it would be used by 40 children whose medical needs prevent them from going to regular schools.
Some critics said the decision was “pushed” in 2018.
The Renaissance of Paignton campaign group says: “During the recent Parkfield visualization exercise, we were told that only 14 children would now use the center and that there was a shortfall of £ 80,000.
“It is going from bad to worse. No one seems to be responsible and our advisers are not criticizing the officers but we can and we will, if necessary,” said Chris Harvey.
The group cites the “failure” of plans for historic Bishop’s Place in Paignton as an example of their fears for Parkfield’s future, saying: “Ten years ago, the council transferred freehold ownership of Bishops Place to TDA (a private company independent of the councilors), knowing that the community wanted to take this building as a “community asset”.
Instead, ADD wanted to use the building as an “innovation center”.
“Talk about choosing one of the nicest buildings in town,” Mr. Kaskow said.
“It’s like a monopoly game with our city, our community.”
The community group sent their plans to the then mayor, as well as the councilors who were the sitting directors of TDA at the time.
“All in vain,” Kaskow said. “The intended use as an innovation center was unsuccessful.”
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“The rebirth of our city is seen as a much better description than the ‘Masterplan’ titled ‘Refresh’ for the ambition behind all of the projects currently underway, as they will truly transform our city,” said Harvey.
Campaigners are also fighting to make local voices heard over the creation of a new sea wall – they claim the council’s plans would look like an ugly concrete Berlin Wall along the entire promenade.
The Victorian splendor of Paignton dates from the arrival of the railway in 1859 after a large-scale recovery of the waterfront on the sea.
It became one of the archetypal late Victorian beach resorts for family vacations.
So great was Paignton’s growing popularity during the Victorian era that in 1879 the town hosted the first performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance at the Royal Bijou Theater, behind the old Gerston Hotel in the junction of Victoria Street and Hyde Road.
“We are going to demand the best of the Torbay Board and TDA on behalf of our community, to include their involvement in the process from start to finish and beyond,” said Richard Kaskow of the Community Partnership.
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“We need to create a sense of belonging, caring that goes beyond everyone’s doorstep and re-develop civic pride.”
The groups say the community partnership had its ambitions of creating a community hub and heritage center twice thwarted by existing councils.
“Now is the time for our advisers to work with us, to make sure the board is working with the community,” the campaign group said in a statement.
Currently, Torbay Youth Trust, which has charitable status and works with the bay’s most vulnerable children and youth, and Reach Outdoors, which operates the climbing wall, are based in the center.
Mr Kaskow: “We want to take over the building site – Parkfield House and the youth center. We haven’t gone into a lot of detail at this point, but we have said that as a community we will take care of it. at any time when the confidence of young people does not use it. “
Free outdoors Skate Park The bowl is always used all year round.
The international standard BMX track with a split track for beginners to advanced riders is run by Torbay BMX Club.
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