Spireview Steps

Initiated 2022

The pedestrian access route installed in 2008/9 to connect Spireview to Old Johnstown Village is very valuable. However, it has created significant negative issues with some residents requesting that the steps be closed off.


The path position is not directly overlooked by homes and has no natural security. The 'alley' formed by the enclosed steps limits neighbouring homes from being overlooked but poses a safety concern for pedestrians who cannot see what's hidden at either end.


The hidden spot at Chestnut Court has formed a late evening gathering place for youths with noise disturbance and litter that is tormenting residents. Glass shards from broken bottles present a health hazard both on the path and in the grass lawn.


Removing the lower section of timber side paneling will open up the visual surveillance of the area and remove the 'tunnel vision' alley.

Removing a large triangular section of lawn in favour of planting will reduce antisocial gatherings.

Landscaping solutions

The option to create a summer meadow to cover the large lawn is not practical due to the amount of litter that is likely to be strewn in the grass and those antisocial gatherings will still occur since the grass is easily flattened. 

Since it is fast to establish over a wide area our proposal is to remove the turf and initially sow a native wildflower meadow. Within the space we would incorporate many shrubs and bushes with natural defenses such as spiky raspberry, holly, and hawthorn that will in time merge to overtake the space.


Johnstown Sunflower Trail

In June volunteers planted a dozen sunflowers in the path verge as part of the Trail and use it as a test to see if the local community would then unite and contribute to further enhancing the area. It was very disheartening that all the freshly planted sunflowers were stolen by unknown individuals within 48hrs. It was decided not to post about this on social media and not to replace the flowers.

Plan for 2024

For any planting to succeed in this location it needs to be both robust, low maintenance, and planted by the community themselves. Further antisocial activity by a few individuals should not deter the majority from enhancing the area. The opportunity exists for planting thorny fruit bushes or climbers secured to the walls, low-level and low-cost shrubs such as heathers could be the way forwards.

Sustainable Development Goals

This project has connections with the following categories: