Today I attended a meeting with Robbie Caddock and Phillip Snell at the MK Council Offices in Bleak Hall to discuss the plans for the parish play areas. Cllrs Joyce and Peter Ballantyne were also in attendance.
Philip is a project manager for MK Council and has worked on a number of play area projects including in particular the very successful renewal of the play areas in Kensington Drive, Great Holm.
We discussed the strategy for Loughton Parish play areas that has emerged from discussions with Robbie Caddock. This involves taking out 2 of the smaller play areas with little play value to reduce the numbers to 4. Then of those 4 it seems the best way forward is to aim to renew the Loughton Sports ground play area first. Philip and Robbie have agreed to visit the site and come up with a proposal and we will meet again next Tuesday to discuss it further and see what ideas they have
We also discussed the issue with the Great Holm play areas. There are some snagging issues on the two new play areas which Robbie will look at. He will also look at the play area in Petworth and see what can be done to renovate and improve this area.
Consultation with local residents around the Loughton sports ground will be important. The current play facilities are mainly aimed at very young children and perhaps they could also cater for older children and not just toddlers.
Philip is going to assist with a WREN grant application (this is a fund raised from landfill tax). We might have a budget of £70k available from that with a parish contribution of 11% plus possibly some more contribution from the Parish Partnership fund.
Overall, this seems to be another step forward on our goal of renewal of the parish play areas.