09:33 13 June 2022
Designs for long-awaited upgrades to two Sidmouth play parks have been finalized and local children are now being asked to give their input.
The council have been planning the revamp of The Ham and Long Park playgrounds for over two years and have set aside around £100,000 to pay for them.
The project has been hampered by a shortage of contractors following the Covid pandemic and other factors beyond the council’s control.
But a contractor has now been appointed and hopes to remodel the parks and install the new equipment by the end of July, provided no further delays occur.
During the preliminary planning phase, children and young people from local schools were asked what equipment and facilities they would like to see. Parents were also asked to give their opinion.
The council worked with the contractor to ensure their designs reflected the views and wishes of the local community, and artists’ impressions have now been produced to show what the parks are likely to look like. Images show park layouts and new amenities, but details, including seating and shelters, may vary slightly and planting will take some time.
The footage was released to local schools, in a move the council described as “an important step demonstrating the value of their previous contributions and letting them know their voice matters in local decision-making.”
Councilors Louise Cole and Denise Bickley, both members of the youth work group, spearheaded the playground project. In a joint statement, they said: “We are really excited to see the final plans for this before these two new parks are built. This project comes at a time when children and parents appreciate outdoor play spaces more than ever to help children have fun while enjoying both physical and mental well-being. We have been pushing for these projects to be delivered and hope there will be no further delays. The Council hopes the designs will create a buzz of excitement and something to look forward to very soon with play spaces to be proud of and have fun with.