The revamping of Beighton’s play parks will soon be finished due to the last needed amount of funding coming through, councillor Ian Saunders has said.
This follows on from an ongoing project to improve the play park facilities, after lots of complaints from residents were made. Five out of seven of Beighton’s play areas have already been completed over the last 3 years, but lack of funding has made it a slow process to complete.
Mr Saunders will be meeting with officers most likely in the next few weeks to confirm the final plans for improvement. The two parks still to be completed are the areas on Sycamore Street and Springwell Grove.
“We listened to the local people, had meetings with them,” Mr Saunders said, “people were starting to complain to us about the lack of play facilities.
“Luckily most of the play areas were fully equipped … so really for those it was just a case of cleaning them up, but the two sites in Beighton village – they’ve had equipment removed.”
“With children’s play areas,” Mr Saunders added, “because of health and safety, they are very very expensive.”
The new site on Sycamore Street, which was previously being used as a builders compound for the streets ahead project, has already had a football and basketball facility put in. The final pieces of equipment will be installed in the next few months.
Mr Saunders said: “I’m keen to consult with people as to what they actually would like to see. Obviously it needs to be safe, that’s the first thing, but it’s got to be usable – for the children to want to use it.”
Jon Ball, 40, a local parent who takes his children to the play park on Sycamore Street, said that before the football and basketball pitches were put in, “it was just a patch of wasteland – highly uneven, slightly dangerous concrete surface.
“You could smell the illegal substances.”
When asked about the improvements, Mr Ball said: “It’s not enough … it’s a step in the right direction but there needs to be more for younger children.”
Susan Turner, 60, a grandmother who takes her two grandchildren to the play area off Hartland Drive, said: “There just is not enough, in this particular park, for younger children … there’s four little swings and there’s a slide which gets daubed with dog poo.”
Ms Turner said: “The big children and youths on an evening use it for their drinking and pranks etc.
“It’s become not a very nice place to go to. There’s lots of glass and broken bottles … It’s become quite a dangerous place to actually visit.”
Mr Saunders said that although the project is almost finished, he will continue to listen to the residents about possible future improvements which could be made to these areas.
Mr Saunders said they expect to have spent approximately £50,000 over the 5 years to complete all the improvements.