Residents fear pathway change

No go: Cartwright residents, including four generations of Gladys Borland's family, are opposed to a plan to build a unit block near their homes. They say steps will make it difficult for residents in wheelchairs and parents with prams to use a pedestrian path. Picture: Simon Bennett

No go: Cartwright residents, including four generations of Gladys Borland's family, are opposed to a plan to build a unit block near their homes. They say steps will make it difficult for residents in wheelchairs and parents with prams to use a pedestrian path. Picture: Simon Bennett

SHE has lived in the same Cartwright house for the past 40 years but now Gladys Borland may struggle to get to it.

Ms Borland, an 83-year-old wheelchair user, often travels along the pedestrian path that links her street, Willan Road, to Hoxton Park Road — but it may soon have steps.

Her granddaughter Tammy Borland lives in the same house, with her 10-week-old daughter Emilia.

Ms Borland said the plans to change the footpath had been lodged with Liverpool Council, along with an application to build a five-storey unit block at 153 Hoxton Park Road.

"People use that alleyway to walk to bus stops," she said.

"Many of them are pushing prams, like myself, or like my grandmother, are in wheelchairs or are elderly people on their way to medical appointments.

"If there are stairs there, it will be very difficult for them.

"We're also worried that those stairs might become a hangout for local kids, which could lead to an increase in crime."

She said residents were also concerned most of the unit block's bedroom windows would provide views of neighbours' backyards.

"This will be a huge invasion of our privacy.

"The development is just too big for a standard residential area like this," Ms Borland said.

"My family has been here for 40 years and now we might lose our privacy and our sunlight. It doesn't seem fair."

The building's designer, Charlie Zappia, director of Algorry Zappia and Associates, said the stairs would not be built in the pathway but rather nearby.

"The stairs will be going between the complex and the adjoining public reserve," Mr Zappia said.

"That was one of the requirements of the application, that we face the development towards the park so that there's more activity in this area.

"The council is eager to create more foot traffic in that area to invigorate it a bit and reduce crime."

Mr Zappia said the last Liverpool Council Local Environment Plan rezoned that area to a higher housing density.

"That area will change because it is earmarked for higher-density housing," Mr Zappia said.

"It's taken a while for development to arrive there, but it's inevitable that it will happen."

He said the design of the building was within council requirements and the privacy concerns involved had been assessed by relevant planning review bodies before the application was lodged.

A council meeting will consider the matter.

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