Cuckmere Lane, Southampton
Cuckmere Lane (uniquely named being the only one in Great Britain) is located in the ward of Redbridge with a population of approximately 14,500, located 3.1 miles (5.0 km) to the west of the city centre of Southampton.
Much of Redbridge's history is linked to its position at the tidal part of the River Test and, later, as the terminus of the Andover Canal. The settlement was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Rodbrige, within the Manebrige (possibly Mansbridge) Hundred in Hantscire (Hampshire). In 1575 and 1607, it was shown on maps as a small hamlet, it was shown as being within the "Redbridg Hundred” in the latter.
Because of its strategic position, the settlement became a substantial trading post for commodities such as coal, timber and corn, and a shipbuilding centre, with many merchant and Royal Navy vessels being constructed in Redbridge in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Work began on converting the Andover Canal to a railway, which was to become known as the Sprat and Winkle Line, in 1859. The line opened in 1865, with a new course being laid twenty years later. This meant that a level-crossing was installed in front of the Anchor public house so that carts and later motor cars could cross the railway line. In 1930 the bypass and bridge were completed which took 4 years at a cost of £100,000. Another carriageway was added to the 'flyover' over the River Test parallel to the mainline railway in the 1970s.
In 1975 the M271 motorway was opened terminating at the Redbridge Roundabout, where it meets the dual carriageway A35 trunk road. It is these transport structures, together with industrial and high-density residential developments, that dominate Redbridge today.
Cuckmere Lane itself measures 458 meters long leading in from Kendall Avenue consisting of social housing, Redbridge Community School halting at Redbridge Towers – a prominent high-rise block.
Back in 2007, Southampton Council launched the Decent Homes in Decent Neighbourhoods as part of Southampton’s overarching Community and Housing Strategy for the city. A 30 year plan to improve quality of life across the city. As part of this plan £1.9 million “Decent Neighbourhoods” was awarded to transform council neighbourhoods across the city.
Decent Neighbourhoods isn’t just about making an area simply look better, it’s about getting the local community on board so that residents feel part of the transformation and proud of what’s happening in their neighbourhood. -
Aidan Cooper Decent Neighbourhoods Project Manager
Residents in Cuckmere Lane and Studland Close were invited to attend consultation events to have their say about what improvements were needed and were able to give feedback on the works, via a dedicated Facebook page for the project.In October 2017 work commenced with dedicated contractor’s P.T Contractors, works include:
- Changes to the road layout (build-outs) and permeable surfacing
- The creation of 95 new parking spaces
- A new play area at Cuckmere Lane
- Two community garden spaces
- Tree planting in both hard and soft
- Upgrades to all the street lighting in the area
GreenBlue were of course delighted to support urban tree planting products to soften what was once a long brick-built and uninspiring thoroughfare.
A total of 13 ArborSystem tree pits to include build-outs along the newly designated 20 mph roadway to assist the many families that reside and attend Redbridge School. RootSpace 600 enabled uncompacted healthy soil and the integration of the many utilities underground, Guying supports the variety of tree species and Root Directors will ensure the upgraded paved areas and interment packing bays remain damage-free. Above ground, the newly planted trees are supported by the ever-popular Adur Tree Grille, Ullswater guard, irrigation and aeration.
The soft planting and addition of community gardens is a joy to see and will encourage social cohesion and wellbeing for many years to come. Congratulations to all, a hugely successful regeneration project for which GreenBlue are proud to be involved and resonates the true value of urban tree planting.