New play park plan is swinging into WoodleyBy Jon Nurse
May 31, 2012
Youngsters will revel in a new play area this summer now the blueprints have been unveiled.
Woodley Town Council’s leisure services committee approved a design for a play area adjacent to Woodford Park Leisure Centre in Haddon Drive, following a public consultation that received more than 1,200 responses.
The new area, designed for children aged eight and under, will go alongside Woodford Park’s play area for eight to 13-year-olds installed last year.
Three playground companies submitted designs that went on display at The Oakwood Centre and Woodford Park Leisure Centre earlier this year, while all local primary schools were invited to take part in the consultation. Just over half of the 1,238 responses favoured a design by Nottingham-based company Pro-Ludic.
Kevin Murray, service support manager, said: “The preferred design meets the brief well and is also under budget, meaning there may be some additional items of equipment included here or elsewhere in the park.”
Phil Challis, chairman of the leisure services committee, said: “They’ve spoken to an amazing number of children and it’s clear which is the preferred option. I think it’s a good design.”
One comment from the public consultation said: “This is long overdue and will be a very welcome addition to the facilities in Woodford Park.
A focus on younger children would be good as there are currently very few pieces they can access independently in the current parks.”
Another comment said: “It would be good to have this area, however it would be nice to have somewhere also for older children besides the skate park as the young teens always end up hanging out in the younger children’s play areas.”
Old and damaged equipment immediately next to the leisure centre will be removed as the new apparatus is installed.
The play area will also provide an access route to the leisure centre and pub, which will avoid pedestrians having to walk through the existing play area.
Funding for the project has come from £28,000 of Section 106 developers’ contributions following an application made to Wokingham Borough Council.
The area could be installed in time for the summer holidays.