THE idea of giving a large part of your garden up for sheltered housing might sometimes have merit — even more so when Jonathan Beecher is the man behind the idea.
For as a well-known local musician, we can be sure that the housing units he is proposing in Risinghurst along with a music room would be ideal for elderly people with an interest in the arts.
The community he envisages in many ways comes across as quite an innovative approach, with its beautiful setting certain to mean there would be no lack of interest.
However, the fact that the units would be built so close to the Kilns and the surrounding woodland, so well known to C.S. Lewis, means that another battle over ‘the real’ Narnia could be looming.
The rural setting of C.S. Lewis’s home has long ago disappeared. Many are still unhappy with the way the surrounding woodlands are managed in the interest of wildlife, rather than as a fitting memorial to the great writer.
On a winter’s afternoon, to any visiting Lewis devotee, it can look an unloved and lonely place.
The new development idea would require an access road that would certainly bring more traffic along
C.S. Lewis Close, removing the Kilns a little further from the place that the great man would have known and loved. Whatever the merits of the scheme that would be regrettable.