01 Jun When Will Our Play Areas Be Improved?
The Labour group at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council have allowed developers to do as they please in areas like Galley Common, where Plough Hill Road alone is set to see 600 new houses developed in the next two years.
These developments have been given the go ahead despite please from residents asking the Council to consider the existing problems with the road network and the lack of infrastructure.
Another issue affecting those already living in Galley Common, The Shires estate, and in Whittleford, is the lack of play areas for our children. The play areas we do have are old, run down, and in need of replacing.
At Full Council last week I asked the Labour Cabinet what will be done to address this.
One thing these developments will bring to our area is large sums of section 106 money to improve existing facilities like children’s play areas.
Spending more than £500,000 on Bedworth Cricket Club’s facilities is great for the Borough and for the club. It’s fantastic for those who’ll use it but most families just want decent, adequate play areas within walking distance of where they live.
I asked the Portfolio Holder for Arts & Leisure if he would give any assurances that improvements will be made and their children will at some point be able to benefit from money earmarked for where they live?
The short answer, as you would guess, was no.
I didn’t get a response at Council, instead getting a response by email a week later.
The response was: “As a point of clarity it is not the case that section 106 sums are currently able to be sought from new developments to address existing deficiencies.
“Under the current CIL and section 106 regulations, 106 sums can only actually be sought to address additional needs arising from /or issues caused by the additional demand resulting from residents in the new housing units.”
Clearly the additional needs here are the added children from the new houses trying to use play areas like the ABC park (play equipment was taken away to be replaced but has never been replaced) and the park on Chaucer.
Children from the 300 houses on the golf course site will probably want to go down to the park on Lilleburne Drive on The Shires.
So how much money will each development bring?
I had to send several emails to the Planning Department before finally getting a response.
According to one of the planning officers at NBBC, AR Cartwright’s development on Plough Hill Road, The Zu, has an agreement for just short of £14,000 for destination parks and over £23,000 for community and local parks for the Shuntings and Nuneaton Common.
Next, the Taylor Wimpey site up the road will have a play area on site according to the agreed plans. There’ll also be some money or destination parks at Whittleford Park and Frensham Drive as well as allotments at Ryders Hill.
The golf course site will provide the biggest figure, with around £150,000 set to be earmarked for the park on Chaucer Drive or Lilleburne Drive.
And the other AR Cartwright site on Tunnel Road will see a small amount of 106 money which should be spent on improving the play area on Orford Rise.
Whittelford residents will be pleased to hear that the play area on Merlin Avenue is finally going to be back in use. The long-awaited play equipment is at the Council’s depot ready to be installed in time for the school holidays. It should have gone in a couple of months back but way delayed due to the bad weather.