Residents living in and around the Laburnum Avenue Recreational Area in Cannock have had the opportunity to design their new play area and provide ideas for wider site improvements as part of the first stage of consultation.
Several community engagement sessions were held last month which took place on site and in local primary schools. Children and the local community took part in a Planning for Real exercise whereby they had the opportunity to spend £130,000 and design their own play area.
Various pieces of play equipment were displayed on small cards along with the cost. Those taking part were encouraged to choose their favourite equipment and visually show how they would like their new play area to look by placing the cards on a large-scale image of the site.
Creative consultation workshops were also delivered by a local artist who has captured residents and children’s views as pieces of artwork.
A feedback survey was also launched and was available to complete online via the Council’s website.
The Council received 58 responses to the survey and engaged with approximately 95 people during the Planning for Real sessions.
The results showed that over 67% of respondents visit the park at least once a week with 30% of them visiting every day. The main uses of the park are for dog walking, to get somewhere and exercise.
The top 5 pieces of equipment chosen in the survey were: double width slide, trampoline, combi -swing basket and flat swing, large junior tower and junior medium climbing frame.
The top 5 pieces of equipment chosen in the Planning for Real sessions were: trampoline, cradle swing, teenage spinner, double width slide, combi swing - basket and flat.
In the survey the large junior tower was in the top 5 but was the least popular in the Planning for Real exercise where people were able to see the budget and the cost of each equipment.
Residents were also given the opportunity to identify any equipment or features they would like to see included in the development alongside the play area. The results showed 80% of respondents want more bins around the area, over 70% want better pathways and just under 70% would like to see the creation of a nature trail around the woodland areas.
Councillor John Preece, Portfolio Leader for Parks, Culture and Heritage said, “Thank you to all those that have taken part in the survey and the wider community engagement sessions. Your views have provided a clear overview of what you would like the new park and play area to look like.
“These results will now be taken into consideration when developing the design of the play area and wider site developments. We will be undertaking further consultation and engagement with children and local residents before the summer on these proposals”.
Whilst these responses are being embedded into the play area design, works to the footpaths are due to start on site next month. Further updates will be provided on the Council’s website and social media channels.
For further information about the improvement works and to download a full copy of the results visit www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/newparks