A Virtual Stroll Along the Mickle Trafford-Shotton Railway

abbots meadsHere is the view from the other side of the new bridge
carrying the line over Countess Way. Below, sheep still graze on the last remnants of the Abbot's Meads, the ancient water meadows that formerly covered a considerable area north of Chester.

In the distance you can see Parkgate Road and Blacon Avenue.

This is typical of the sort of green open space local planners consider to be of no recreational value and therefore suitable for 'redevelopment'. Indeed, to great local concern, this land has been acquired by Tescos and the nearby Blacon Meadows have been earmarked for the construction of low-grade 'retail outlets' with associated car parking, by yet another company with few local loyalties, Scottish Metropolitan.

This development was only proposed and reluctantly accepted when SM's previous plan- the construction of a night club, bingo hall, 'theme restaurant' (burger bar) and massive car park, caused outrage in the local community.

Turning to face the opposite direction, not far from here is a large area of allotments. It had been announced that this was to be bulldozed and the land sold for private housing development. This inevitably led to considerable local opposition and a vigourous campaign was fought in defence of a valued amenity.

Eventually, after all-party local support was expressed for the retention of the allotments, the community began to believe they had indeed been saved.

However, in February 1999 DIY giants B&Q have submitted a planning application to build a vast warehouse/ superstore immediately next to them. What this means for the future of the allotments is currently anybody's guess.

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