Today, the kids and I took a little ride along the favourite towpath to the Meeting Point Rest Area, just alongside the Rochdale Canal about 3 miles from home.
What Is The “Meeting Point Rest Area”?
Basically, a bloke who loves biking (motorbikes, not proper bikes but we’ll let that go for now) has taken a piece of disused, derelict land alongside the canal, opposite the main A58 Rochdale-Halifax road that runs over Blackstone Edge, and put a couple of portakabins on there.
He’s put some tables outside and he retails refreshments to passing bikers, cyclists, walkers and even drivers, who can park in a smallish car park right in front. This guy sits in his portakabin with his cute Westie terrier, quietly getting on with his life and providing a wonderful amenity to passers-by.
He’s an absolute boon to me, as the girls (aged 7 and 8) love the fact that there are no hills or traffic between our home and the Meeting Point. It’s a cracking, if short, family ride when we have an hour or so to spare. To everyone else, he’s a handy little cafe in a lovely position close to a few busy roads. To some though, he’s a bit of a problem so they’d like to shut him down.
What’s The Problem?
The guy has, apparently, been on the wrong end of some complaints. I’m not sure how the planning process works, but apparently his portakabins “aren’t in keeping” with the local architecture. They’re certainly an improvement on the derelict plot they’ve replaced! But, Littleborough’s a nice-looking place with some cracking buildings and I can see how people might see the Rest Area as the thin end of the utilitarian architecture wedge.
He’s hoping to put a permanent building on the site I understand, but first he has to await the decision of an independent planning hearing, which takes place in Bristol (why Bristol I wonder?), probably in December.
I hope he wins. It would be a shame to see the place removed. No doubt someone will stick some nice flats on there now he’s levelled and cleared it, but I’d prefer to see the Meeting Point Rest Area made permanent and give the guy a chance to put a nice, appropriate building on the plot.
Here’s a link to my Google Map.
He doesn’t seem to have got a Google Places account yet – I’ll have a word with him about that.