2008 New housing

The 2008 Area Action Plan sought to improve the park’s landscape quality and access whilst minimising maintenance commitments and maximising revenue generation.  It proposed to create a grand entrance off Alma Road at Pennycomequick, framed between a new lodge building immediately below Knollys Terrace and new terraced housing to the north and east of Wake Street and Holdsworth Street.  The new houses would have had their frontages overlooking the park to provide a more attractive setting and better oversight than the end gables and rear elevations of existing buildings.  The proposal continued into the 2011 and 2013 masterplans but was dropped in 2017 when Plymouth City Council cabinet members deemed it unacceptable to lose any more parkland to development. 

Illustrations from the 2008 Area Action Plan

Interestingly, a similar proposal had been made and rejected ninety years previously.  In 1926, a year after the first land purchase, the Western Morning News which had consistently argued for a new park, suggested that some of the cost might be recovered by allowing just a fringe of houses around the ground.  The newspaper claimed it would take little away from the park itself but prove remunerative.  In January 1928, the sub-committee for Central Park took the idea further and recommended that certain strips of land on Alma Road and Peverell Park Road, 150 feet deep, should be reserved for building.  This was disapproved when it came before the full Council a month later, and the park was designed the same year without any new houses being included.