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Haregate residents have put forward their ideas as part of a consultation into improving open spaces on the Haregate estate

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 19, 2014

By Abbey Buxton

  • From left, Amin Hasdhi, Chris Elliot, Dave Smith, Debbie Knott, Carl Grannell and Zan Jackson.

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COMMUNITY groups have had their say on how they want to see their estate improved.

New housing developments are being built at Haregate Road, Tittesworth Avenue, Horsecroft Farm, Haregate Hall and O'Hare Place, all in Haregate, Leek, along with a new community centre in Queens Drive to replace the current venue in Haregate Road.

The development is being carried out by Ascent, a joint venture between Your Housing Group and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to build 400 affordable homes across the district by 2016.

The centre is due to be completed by June, while the homes are set to be finished by February 2015.

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As part of the redevelopment, Ascent is providing funding to improve the estate's open spaces and play areas.

A consultation was held at Haregate Community Centre to gauge residents' ideas for how they want to see the estate's play areas and open spaces improved.

Carl Grannell, director of John McCall Architects, which has drawn up the plans for the estate, said: "When approval was secured for the housing development, a point was made that housing is not the 'be all and end all'. There will be additional benefits in terms of the environment and improvements with a new community centre and urban open space.

"Before we made any definitive plans we wanted feedback from residents about the good and bad points about the existing open spaces.

"We got ideas about what people want to see, specifically whether it's adventure play, or traditional play, equipment, furniture, play space and seating; it's not just about the kids, but also the supervising adults.

"This is the first step in establishing the basic criteria which in the next six months will be put together into a definitive plan.

"Tied in with that we are looking at how the sites can additionally benefit by things like wildflower planting and any other empty sites which can be used to help wildlife in the area, and we have invited Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to join in this consultation with that aim."

Amin Hashdi, new business manager for Ascent, added: "We are also interested in what people are saying about The Waste at the top of the estate.

"We've got money from the landscape budget for things such as landscaping by the community centre, screening, improving the roundabout in Queens Drive, and we may be able to give some to Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and Your Housing, to fund some community groups."

Zan Jackson, wildlife gardening officer for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, is leading the Haregate Community Garden and Cultivation Community Project. She said: "We have funding from the Big Lottery Fund to run 36 sessions over 12 months to get people interested in growing wild flowers, fruit and vegetables.

"I've been gathering ideas of what people want to see in the community garden at the centre and I'm hoping to work with Ascent on this.

"I want to be involved in supporting wildlife areas across the estate and see if we could get little places planted to create a wildlife corridor to encourage wildlife and get residents growing more in their gardens as well."

Zan has been working with groups and organisations using the centre and St Paul's Church in Novi Lane to find out what they would like to see.

He added: "It's surprising how many young people have said they want things to improve the environment and encourage wildlife and nature."

Some of the things community groups in Haregate would like to see:

St Paul's Youth Group

Climbing frame

Climbing wall/abseiling

Rope swing



Pond with frogs and lilies

Creatures – fish aquarium, bees, butterflies, caterpillars

Vegetable patch

Flowers – poppies, buttercups, daffodils, tulip, daisies, roses, lavender

Stroke club at Haregate Community Centre

Bird table

Cauliflower, kohl rabbi

Bird bath

Buddlia for butterflies

Bird feeders


Bird scarers

White flowers

Hot tub

Bug hotel/bug houses

Sensory area

Herb garden

Zan Jackson, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Wildlife Gardening Officer

Areas to grow fruit and vegetables

Wildflower areas

Bug hotel

Willow tunnel/arch

Greenhouse or poly-tunnel

Bird tables, feeders, bird bath

Daffodil paths/flower paths

Flower logo for centre

Shed for tool swap/storage

Compost area

Herb garden

Families group at Haregate Community Centre

Sand pit

Veg patch

Wild flowers

Wind chimes

Herb garden

Lots of different shells

Fitted play area for kids

Wooden shelter

Seating area

Anything to do with frogs


Barefoot trail/texture tiles

Tyre flowers beds/pots

Wooden windchimes

Aslan – Autism group at Haregate Community Centre

Sand pit

Chives/lemon balm/herbs

Crystals – to make rainbows

Strawberries, raspberries

Spinning colourful toys



Apple tree

Pirate ship



Youth Group at Haregate Community Centre

Basket swing, swings

Big slide


Slide with tunnel

Water feature/play area

Swing boats

Apple tree



Bird of paradise


A lot of different roses


Garden with bench and path

Thursday Gardening Group at Haregate Community Centre


Shared tools

Seats and a bench

Shaded area

Solar water feature

Greenhouse for seedlings etc

Picnic bench and table

A place to escape hustle and bustle and create calm

Compost heap

Wildflower patch

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