You said, we did

Thank you to everyone that took the time to respond to our consultation on the new play area in Queen Elizabeth Park. Before submitting our planning application to Rushmoor Borough Council, we wanted to respond to the key themes that we received. Please see below our responses to your feedback.

 

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We have since updated the design with the addition of two swings. A fat rope is also suspended beneath the log beam bridge and can be swung on.

The play area has been designed to cater for and inspire children of all ages, providing a variety of levels of challenges across all the structures. In recognition of the comments received, the design has been further updated with the enhancement of the toddler play space, and the addition of a toddler swing. The toddler play space includes opportunities for toddlers to climb and scramble. The below image shows what this play space will look like, and the different play experiences aimed at toddlers.

Within our DCO, we have consent to install the play area within the Order Limits in an area which is near to our construction compound. We understand installing the play area within our Order Limits isn’t the preferred location and have therefore discussed and agreed with Rushmoor Borough Council the location included in the consultation. This location was identified by the Council during examination, and further discussions to determine the exact location were had with the Council’s planning, ecology and parks officers. The reasoning for this location included:

  • Being further away from the construction work area and compound, reducing disturbance to playground users
  • Being closer to the A325 Farnborough Road access and car park
  • Being in an open area of the park, on an existing footpath route, ensuring good accessibility and some degree of natural surveillance

We see the play area as providing a long-term community benefit, but we will consult, and ultimately leave the decision for permanent retention of the play area to Rushmoor Borough Council – once the existing play area has been reinstated. If the Council decide they do not wish for the play area to become permanent, we will be responsible for removing it.

Whilst our installation works are taking place, we will be responsible for maintaining the play area. This will include any maintenance necessary due to vandalism. Once our installation works are complete, Rushmoor Borough Council will decide whether to make the play area permanent and take responsibility for its maintenance, or to remove completely.

Contemporary play area design involves children having the ability to play within nature, as well as on the play equipment. The play area is intended to be informal and integrated into a ‘play landscape’ rather than an isolated playground. Given its natural surroundings, it will not be fenced so it can integrate subtly and sympathetically into the surrounding landscape. This allows for more exploratory play without the confines of a fence.

Signage will be erected as considered appropriate to request dog owners to put dogs on leads when in the vicinity of the play area.