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

Victoria looks to suspend taxi obligations as ride hailing services arrive

Ten ride hailing companies are set to come to Greater Victoria in the new year

VicPD seek missing 82-year-old man with long grey beard

Arthur Shaw was last seen Dec. 6, those who see him should call 911

Victoria staff request $110,000 to expand city’s urban forest

Development of an Urban Forest Master Plan a five-step process

Mount Douglas Secondary named top STEM school in provincial competition

Team of Grade 10 students wins first place overall and Best Engineering Design award

B.C. seaplane company set to test the first commercial electronic plane

The plane is powered by a 750 horsepower electric motor

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Truck with body inside found at bottom of lake near Kootenay ferry

Investigators believe no foul play is expected but are unsure how the vehicle ended up in the Arrow Lakes

VIDEO: Calgary man narrowly escapes from avalanche while running at Lake Louise

Bryon Howard caught the entire wild experience on camera

PHOTOS: Competitive Christmas light display takes sarcastic turn in Princeton

Heather King of Princeton took a creative and stress-free approach to her holiday display this year

RCMP asks Kootenay cannabis shop to remove image of famous Mountie from storefront

Owner happy to comply with RCMP, but wants more information first

Most Read