This version of Hither Green Park was turned down by Esquimalt council last month after residents spoke out against the design, part of the redevelopment of the English Inn. Developer Aragon Properties is currently working on a new design. Rendering by Aragon Properties

English Inn developer working on new plan for fire access lane in Esquimalt

Neighbours convince council to reject redevelopment of Hither Green Park for project

A contentious project by Aragon Properties to dismantle a beloved Esquimalt neighbourhood park has the developer back at the drawing board.

Aragon plans to renovate the English Inn and build a 180-unit condo development on the adjacent property. With an influx of residents, a new fire access lane is required and the original plan meant demolishing Hither Green, home to a toddler playground, mature foliage and park benches, for a paved route. Aragon’s design, voted down by council at a meeting last month, was presented as a mixed-use area to double as a ‘park’ and provide access for emergency vehicles.

It was standing room only as residents of the neighbourhood surrounding Hither Green Park took to the microphone expressing their objections to council.

Scott Banister, who lives in the neighbourhood with his wife and family said the community is in favour of development, but not at the expense of their quality of life, a sentiment echoed by many who spoke.

Landscape architects presented three alternate plans to explain how they arrived at using the small green space along Bewdley Avenue. But residents called it bad planning on Aragon’s part, asking them to instead use part of the grounds of the English Inn, the adjacent property they purchased.

“My twin brother and I spent many hours at that park [growing up],” Luke Ishizaki said. “I’d be very upset to see Hither Green Park get changed.”

Coun. Beth Burton-Krahn was first to suggest that Aragon find an alternative route for a fire access lane. “This is a small park, it’s a neglected park, it’s forlorn,” she said. “[But] it’s our park.”

Ishizaki’s mother and longtime Esquimalt resident, Lorraine Nygaard, gasped when council voted 5-2 to halt the project’s current plan.

“Everyone was deeply concerned within their hearts and within their own homes,” she said. “I think council finally heard loud and clear.”

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said this week that council is waiting to hear from Aragon regarding a new proposal.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Province launches lawsuit over Esquimalt sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after being dropped from marine lift in 2018

View Royal kids cruise their complex to raise food, toys for Goldstream Food Bank

Four kids gather more than 60 bags of non-perishable food items and toys

North Saanich Fire Department wins national Movember challenge

Team raises more than urban Edmonton, Toronto firefighters

Crash backs up northbound lanes of Pat Bay Highway

Drive BC warns of heavy congestion along busy route

Saanich police first in B.C. to offer mental health resiliency training

Departments from Oak Bay, Saanich, Central Saanich complete trauma training class

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Vancouver Island blues musician’s mother’s home burglarized and ransacked

David Gogo’s 71-year-old mother has jewelry and artwork stolen in break-in

Dance cancelled after Alberta teacher’s climate lesson prompts online threats

School district near Red Deer cancelled annual family dance due to Facebook comments

Most Read