Sidbury youngsters asked to have their say in 30k play area plans

PUBLISHED: 06:47 26 October 2017

Furzebrook play park. Ref shs 43 17TI 2360. Picture: Terry Ife

Furzebrook play park. Ref shs 43 17TI 2360. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Youngsters can have their say on what they want to see in the renovation works if they send in their designs by November 3.

Furzebrook play park. Ref shs 43 17TI 2362. Picture: Terry IfeFurzebrook play park. Ref shs 43 17TI 2362. Picture: Terry Ife

Youngsters in Sidbury are being asked to help design a new play park as part of a £30,000 makeover.

Primary school pupils and Furzehill residents are being consulted until November 3 about proposals to overhaul the area, which has not been upgraded in nearly 30 years.

Due to its location, the facility is too far away to share in Section 106 funding – a levy paid by developers to build – but the district council has earmarked five figures from its budget to renovate the site.

Jaimie Buckley, engagement and funding officer for East Devon District Council, wrote to residents and said the council was also looking into extra funding for equipment which could cost up to £15,000.

She said: “Nearly all the equipment already in there will be removed, as it’s over 30 years old and is at the end of its life. The swing frames may stay and be re-done.

“We wanted to let you know that this is going to happen, and give any children in your home the chance to help decide what goes in there.”

Young people aged 14 and below have been asked to either write or draw what they would like and not like to see in the park.

Councillor Tom Wright, EDDC’s portfolio holder for the environment, said: “Part of our commitment to creating outstanding communities in East Devon is building and maintaining excellent play areas for the younger residents of the district to enjoy.

“However, rather than us telling youngsters what equipment they should have in their play areas, we strongly believe in asking young people for their views and letting them choose the activities they want.”

Cllr David Barratt, Sidmouth Rural ward member, said the facility was in a ‘desperate need of an update’ and encouraged youngsters to have their say.

He said: “Sidbury Primary School has already been visited and their children came up with some great ideas for the play area, and the results from the consultation with Furzehill children and young people will be added to those.

“I helped hand deliver this consultation letter to Furzehill households so that as many local youngsters as possible can say what they would like and influence the final design.

“We really want their suggestions.”

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