Activity Trail at Vicarage Gate and future plans

October 12th 2021

Following the recent annual playground inspection, unfortunately the Parish Council has had to make the difficult decision to remove the wooden Activity Trail at Vicarage Gate in its entirety.  The trail has been in place since 2006 when it was installed by the Residents Association, but unfortunately it is no longer safe for the children to play on due to a large amount of rot in all parts of the equipment.  To replace the affected timbers would be very costly, and with rot issues likely to be an ongoing problem with a wooden structure, the Parish Council wants to look at other options for play equipment and invest in new alternatives going forward.

It is therefore carrying out a review, not just of this play park, but the adjacent football field and the Playing Fields Association play park at Battery Mill, which SEPC is the sole trustee for.  The intention is to research different types of play equipment and other options going forward.

A lot of the equipment at Battery Mill is now elderly and in need of some TLC and the Parish Council is currently researching the best way to carry out repairs highlighted, particularly to the multi play activity equipment, to prolong its life a bit longer until this review has been completed.  Whilst we are doing this, we would be grateful if you could ensure your children treat all the equipment in the play park with respect, as every time something gets damaged, e.g. through graffiti, or vandalism it takes more public money to fix it.

As these are your Open Spaces, Councillors are keen to get your views on what you would like to see here.  Obviously, we are constrained by costs but will be looking into what additional funding opportunities may be available to us through grants, S106 money etc.

The Clerk will be on annual leave from tomorrow and not back at work until Tuesday 26th October.  On her return she will be posting on the website, Facebook and through our newsletter, a survey that we will be asking residents to complete to give us your feedback on what you would like to see at Battery Mill and Vicarage Gate.  Please do remember when you fill it in that this is a wish list.  Councillors will certainly take on board all feedback they receive when deciding what to do now and for future generations, but will of course be acting within budget, space and safety considerations.

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