In addition to its statutory duties and the day-to-day running of the Parish, the Council is often involved with specific projects as part of its Strategic Objectives.
New Playpark for the Recreation Ground
Latest News: Playpark now open … Enjoy!
After months of consultation and planning, the new, extended playpark was installed and formally opened on 15 October. The equipment is designed to create an exciting, stimulating and inclusive environment for children of all abilities to play together. The overall area has been extended to provide additional space, including an attractive seating area for children and their families to socialise. The project was master-minded by our Facilities Officer, Claire Newman, in consultation with an appointed Project Steering Group. We are grateful to them all for their dedication, imagination and positivity in seeing it through to completion.
This £100,000 project has been financed from the Parish Council’s reserves plus the CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) Neighbourhood funds it holds, a £25,000 grant from EHDC’s (East Hampshire District Council) Supporting Communities Fund, £22,600 of s106 developers’ contributions held by EHDC, £1,000 from our local County Councillor’s Community Fund and a £500 donation from Rowlands Castle Good Neighbours. We hope all the local children will enjoy playing on the equipment for many years to come.
If you have any queries, please contact Claire Newman, Facilities Officer at email@example.com
Previous News on Playpark:
Awarding of Contract:
The Council’s Facilities Officer met with companies to get an idea of designs and what we could get for the budget. A Specification was developed by the Steering Group and agreed by the Parish Council. In accordance with Council’s Standing Orders, an Invitation to Tender was advertised externally for companies to submit bids. Eleven bids were received, all of which were analysed and scored by the Group. The Steering Group put forward a recommendation to the Parish Council for consideration.
The Parish Council accepted the recommendation and was thrilled to announce the winning contractor and design for its new Playpark, decided at the Council’s Meeting on 12th June 2023. ESP Playparks created a design that aims to challenge, excite and inspire as well as encourage children of all abilities to play together. There would be approximately a 12-week lead time for ordering the equipment, with an expectation the work will start in early September and take 3-4 weeks to complete.
This £100,000 Project represents a huge investment and will transform the current play equipment in this much-loved Play Area. The incredible response to the public consultation has fed into the final design, creating a playpark that will appeal to children up to age 12 (and the young at heart) with a focus on equipment that is accessible, high quality and offers the best play value.
The design includes:
- Bespoke, 3.5 metre centre-piece junior castle flowing into a ‘tangled’ climber
- Bespoke, toddler castle
- Train and carriage for imaginative play
- Lots of swings!
- A central space for groups to sit, with sensory items nearby (as well as additional seating around the park)
- Extension of the fenced area to increase the space for play
Some of the smaller items have been subject to change (via consultation with the Steering Group) since the original design, including the sensory panels and musical equipment
Formation of Steering Group and Consultation Process:
The existing play equipment was nearly 20 years old and in need of replacing. The Parish Council committed a budget of £100,000 to enhance this facility. A Steering Group was established consisting of two parish councillors (Cllrs Stuart Donald and Vicki Matthews), a local resident, two parents and Claire Newman, the Council’s Facilities Officer. The Group carried out a consultation to which over 200 people responded in various ways. There were some common requests for specific equipment or features which resulted in the following key areas for inclusion:
- Adequate seating and nice areas for families to enjoy time
- Range of sensory experiences
- Multi-play unit for toddlers and one for juniors
- Separate piece of equipment for juniors
- Area for role play
The Steering Group also clarified the following design principles:
- A truly inclusive design, encompassing different ages/abilities;
- Attractive design that compliments and enhances the whole Recreation Ground;
- Exciting and varied for 0-12-year-olds;
- Low-maintenance and durable;
- Encourages a natural ‘flow’ of play and is not linear in appearance (The footprint of the playpark was extended and fence height reduced)
- Is respectful and considerate to nearby residents;
Some areas that came up repeatedly in the consultation but which couldn’t be included within the rationale:
- Sandpit/area – Although sand is very appealing to children, it does need a lot of maintenance to keep it safe and hygienic;
- Paved path around the edge of the park – This would be very costly and was outside the scope of the Playpark Project;
- Splash Park – These take an enormous amount of work and money to put in the basic drainage/chlorine/filtration systems and require a lot of maintenance. They are also weather dependent;
- Multi-sports court for older children – The remit of the Playpark is for 0-12-year-olds, provision for older children will be reviewed next year;