Three firms have been shortlisted to build a new play area at Ridgewood Recreation Ground.
They are Eibe, Kompan and Hag SMP whose designs came top following an evaluation against criteria set by Uckfield Town Council and taking into consideration comments from members of the public at a consultation open day.
Members of Uckfield Town Council’s environment and leisure committee who met last week agreed there were weaknesses in all three schemes and that each company should be asked to resubmit their proposals having taken into account aspects of the design that did not fully meet the brief, as well as comments from survey respondents.
The council wants the scheme to incorporate:
- Removal of the existing play equipment and installation of new equipment
- A multi-use games area with high fencing on sides next to the allotments and New Road
- A planted area to provide a screen from the adjacent road and a sensory area for adults and children to enjoy.
Basic expectations include:
- The need to fence the play area off with bow top fencing
- Provide play equipment for a range of ages
- The multi-use games area must be of a sufficient size to allow football and basket ball games to be played (including the marking out of the surfaces for these games)
- Removal and proper disposal of existing equipment
- Designs must include any provisions for seating, litter bins, footpaths etc.
The Eibe scheme was said to have a wide range of equipment types in natural products but the planting scheme did not meet the design brief.
The Kompan design includes a centrepiece item of climbing play equipment that would be attractive to a range of ages including adults but the height of fencing for the multi-use games area may be inadequate on one side.
The Hag SMP design is the only one to include a range of fitness equipment for adults but the design has no provision or details for planting other than the general location for this aspect of the scheme.
One member of the public, Mrs Carol Sweetland, asked to speak about the play area project at last week’s meeting.
She said people were concerned about the position of the multi-use games area but was told the position had been chosen next to the allotments, half-way down the recreation gound, where it was at its flattest, so there wouldn’t be additional costs for levelling the land.
She raised concerns about access during the works and the possible inclusion of a zip wire which people feared could be a magnet for teenagers at night.
Mrs Sweetland also said that while everybody was happy about the play area being improved she had chatted to teenagers at the existing multi-use games area at New Barn and was told they didn’t use the one down there therefore she wondered why another should be built at Ridgewood.
It is hoped the re-submitted designs will go before the next meeting of the environment and leisure committee meeting, on July 11, for a final decision.
Present at the environment and leisure committee meeting were:
Cllr Mick Dean, chair, Trust Independent, New Town
Cllr Spike Mayhew, vice-chair, Liberal Democrat, New Town
Cllr Jacqueline Beckford, Liberal Democrat, Ridgewood
Cllr Duncan Bennett, Trust Independent, New Town
Cllr Keith Everett, Independent, Ridgewood
Cllr Donna French, Trust Independent, North
Cllr Ian Smith, Independent, Ridgewood
Cllr Diane Ward, Trust Independent, Central
Cllr Helen Firth