We REJECT the Council’s plan for The Gower. GHEF remains committed to re-establishing The Gower building as an asset to the community.

GHEF remains committed to re-establishing The Gower building as an asset to the community. Its grounds retained as a vital green space and valuable community resource. We REJECT the Council’s plan for The Gower.

In 1873, when the ‘Ally Pally’ burnt to ash in North London, the cornerstone of The Gower building in St Georges had been laid and marked the beginning of a history that succeeds in the purpose of the original palace to: serve as a public centre of recreation, education and entertainment. As you will be well aware, The Gower’s long history has touched the lives of many people, past and present.

CornerstoneWhen, after some years of neglect, the threat of demolition emerged, local people led the fight to save the building and start a journey towards the next chapter in the building’s history.

Regular events and activities involving hundreds of local people were suddenly halted by the CoViD-19 virus.

This after several years, of tireless work by the local registered charity Gower Heritage and Enterprise Foundation (GHEF). The day-to-day management activities were carried out by volunteers and involved fending off intruders, co-ordinating volunteers as well as developing a detailed plan for the future of this much cherished asset.

The plan continues the history into the 21st century by extending the building to provide education, training and wellbeing for all. It describes a vision that attracted funds to enable GHEF to benefit from professional expertise and develop a sustainable project to serve north Telford. It was clear, however, experience from similar projects we visited across the region, the road to “Open Day” spans years not months. The journey also requires passionate local people working in co-operation with supportive local authorities in order to access the levels of funding needed to realise the significant positive economic, social and health outcomes a project like this would bring.

Gower Old School House Initial Proposals SK1AIn our case, early engagement with Telford and Wrekin Council and St Georges and Priorslee Parish Council seemed to reflect agreement with this key principle of co-operation. At first.

For now, it is a great disappointment that our plans which are rooted in the local community and designed to support and strengthen that community are to be swept aside in favour of proposals that benefit the Parish Council. They are set to take up residence in a newly refurbished building. Practically all of the grounds, which have been the scene of many enjoyable events and occasions, are to be concreted over for housing! These proposals do not reflect the needs of local people. Rather than alleviate the problems faced by local people as the nation emerges from a devastating global pandemic, the Councils’ plan will increase pressures on already stretched local services.

GHEF’s original vision is what is needed now. Our community has been impacted by significant challenges over the past year. A lack of social contact results in greater isolation. Mental and physical stresses arising from the pandemic have increased for individuals and families.  This is an opportunity to do what is right for local people. It is not the time to put cash before community.

The circumstances in which we find ourselves as we approach Summer 2021, require a bolder vision than that proposed by our councils. Their duty is to support the community in bouncing back after the battle against CoViD-19.

GHEF remains committed to re-establishing The Gower building as an asset to the community. Its grounds retained as a vital green space and valuable community resource. The current plans of our councils are completely at odds with this and we fundamentally disapprove of them.

Play Park ParentsWe are certain, local people will also consider our council’s proposals and come to a conclusion. Many will agree the long-term wellbeing of local people should come before short-term cash windfalls. Together we must focus our energies and reject these short-sighted proposals.

United Against the Council’s Plans

Help to stop the Council’s plans from destroying our vision for The Gower.

Talk to your friends and relatives

Tell people about what is at stake and get them involved.

Object to the planning applications

https://secure.telford.gov.uk/planning/pa-applicationsummary.aspx?ApplicationNumber=TWC/2021/0722

https://secure.telford.gov.uk/planning/pa-applicationsummary.aspx?ApplicationNumber=TWC/2021/0724

Ask elected representatives to support our objection

Write or email your councillor and MP to gain their support.

Use social media

Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Like share and follow.

Show your objection

Display the graphic prominently. Acknowledge and support others that do.

Join The Gower Telford Street Team

Contact Rob on 07985 398600 to get active in securing the future of our iconic building.

 


Object to the planning applications

You may recall . . .

. . . that the building was originally built as a hospital by the Lilleshall Company who realised that a facility like this was needed for the wellbeing of its employees. However, things change and a smaller Cottage Hospital was built just a hundred yards away on Albion Street which provided local health care for some years. The Gower building was purchased from the Lilleshall Company to become a school known as Wrockwardine Wood Junior School. It provided education and learning to local children until it closed in 1961. The building continued to serve young people in St Georges and neighbouring districts when it was utilised as a Youth Centre and local venue, much loved throughout the community.

Join the Street Team

Contact Lynne on 07985 398600 to get active in securing the future of our iconic building.

What success looks like

On the grounds:

  • Children’s Play Park
  • Open green space
  • Allotment
  • Man Shed
  • Sensory Garden

Within the building:

  • Full operational community facility
  • Work from home space
  • Cafeteria
  • Rooms for hire
  • Wellbeing and Drop in services
    • Library
    • Health
  • Training opportunities
  • P/F Time employment

 

Write to them

https://www.writetothem.com/

WriteToThem is a website which provides an easy way to contact MPs, councillors and other elected representatives.

 

We REJECT Council Plan For The Gower August 7, 2021