open spaces

Work in progress! Luna Close Play Area refurbishment update….

Work in progress! Luna Close Play Area refurbishment update…. 1900 1200 Caroline Hunt

The Council is pleased to announce that the play area refurbishment at Luna Close, Oakhurst is now underway.

The Children from Oakhurst Community Primary School met with the Council’s Parks & Projects Team and Youth Worker to have a sneak peak of the construction work going on at Luna Close. The Children from Oakhurst Community Primary School have been involved in the planning of the play area, the fundraising of some equipment and supporting the ‘design an accessible play area sign’ competition. Thank you to Benjamin’s Smile and Oakhurst Community Primary School for their valuable input and support with this project.

Keep an eye on our social media for the progress of the project and opening event details.

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Council Announces Work Starts in Preparation for Play Park Development

Council Announces Work Starts in Preparation for Play Park Development 1900 1200 Caroline Hunt
The Parks and Projects team have been busy prepping Gaynor Close Play Park ahead of the total refurbishment planned.
The Parish Council allocated £80,000 in the current financial year for the refurbishment and enhancement of two local play areas; Luna Close in Oakhurst and Gaynor Close in Abbey Meads. The Council is committed to maintaining all of their 23 play parks to a high standard and sets aside a significant portion of their budget each year to do so. Last year the Council enhanced King George V Play Area with the addition of an accessible basket swing and colourful footpaths into the play areas as both areas were installed with wet pour safety surface. Later this year, the Parish Council will also be resurfacing Voyager Drive Play Area.

The Parish Council worked closely with Benjamin’s Smile Charity and Oakhurst Community Primary School who came up with a wish list of items they would like to see.  The local school children were asked for feedback during a lesson raising awareness of disabilities and how small adjustments can make a huge difference to those living with disabilities and for their families. The local primary school has also been fundraising towards one of the new pieces of equipment and, with match funding by the Parish Council, is able to fund the double width slide unit.

The first play area to see improvements will be at Luna Close, where residents can expect new and exciting equipment.  The chosen equipment is tailored to the varying requirements of their children with the inclusion of a high back swing, double width slide, accessible roundabout, and numerous play panels. Much of the existing equipment at this play area will also receive some cosmetic enhancements.

At Gaynor Close the choice of equipment is like Luna but as the whole play area needed a complete overhaul, play area companies tendering for the work could be really innovative and creative with their proposed designs. Six companies tendered for the prospective work which were carefully scrutinised by the Parish Council and the winning contracts were approved by the Full Council earlier this year.

Benjamin’s Smile Charity was so impressed by the final designs and Rebecca Maddern (Benjamin’s Mother and creator of Benjamin’s Smile Charity) had this to say:

I am completely overwhelmed, the plans for the play area look amazing. There is such a lovely mixture of different equipment suitable for all ages and abilities. The Council has been able to include so much inclusive equipment at one park it will certainly set the bar for other local councils.  I would like to thank Haydon Wick Parish Council for allowing the charity and the local school to join in with this project, we are all very excited to see the plans come into fruition and enjoy the play areas soon”.

The winning play area company was Playdale whose tenders were both innovative and accessible.  There were also cost savings to be made because both areas were awarded at the same time and the play company will assist with the future opening events.

Councillor Richard Hailstone, Chairman of the Parks & Open Spaces Committee said

“I am delighted to report that we approved tenders to refurbish the Luna Close playground in Oakhurst and Gaynor Close play area in Abbey meads which will include equipment accessible to children of all abilities”.

Councillor Steve Heyes, Vice Chairman of Parks & Open Spaces Committee said:

I am really pleased that we have been able to refresh two of our play parks this year. I look forward to seeing Gaynor Close and Luna Close play areas open with their new looks soon. The Council’s focus has been to make sure there is something for everyone – bright colour schemes, some new equipment and equipment that can meet most accessibility requirements.”

FAQs – Development of Grounds Maintenance Facility

FAQs – Development of Grounds Maintenance Facility 1900 1200 Caroline Hunt

Haydon Wick Parish Council has announced exciting plans to support the delivery of their parks and open spaces service with the redevelopment of their existing facility, to enable continued high standards of outdoor spaces maintenance.

The Parish Council’s in-house Parks & Open Spaces (POS) service has increased significantly since 2017, when Swindon Borough Council devolved the responsibility to the Parish Council. As the scale of operation has grown, so has the necessity to improve the temporary service arrangement. The proposed regenerated facility, pending the outcome of planning permission, is to be built at Goodearl Leisure Gardens, home of the current temporary site, and will replace the temporary shipping containers arrangement.

The Parish Council is aware that residents may have questions, and have compiled a list of questions and answers below. The page is regularly updated, last updated: 05/10/2021 

How much will this project cost?
The project will cost in the region of £350k

How will this impact the precept?
The Council will be applying to fund this via a Public Works Loan and the repayments will be reflected on the term applied for. Due to the sustainability of this facility and future proofing the home of the Parks & Open Spaces Team the term is likely to be 25 years. It is common for local authorities to apply for public works loans  – this in itself may have an impact on the budget but until this is reviewed in October – January the amount is unknown. Also further research is being presented on timescales, terms and interest rates.

Who is managing this?
Haydon Wick Parish Council

What are the dates, what could the impact be of project slippage?
The dates are subject to the tender process, but it is hopeful that this project will be completed by June 2022. The main impact of slippage will cost £225.00 per week which is for extended temporary welfare unit. Also delays may result in arising material costs due to economic growth, which cannot be measured. Additional contingency amounts of 3% on each item will be factored in to mitigate against any overspends.

Who will benefit from this development?
The Parks & Open Spaces team, with all round better facilities. Storage, workshop for painting and repairs, both mechanical and play equipment. Garage facility for mowers, compact sweeper. Electric charging points. Solar panels. Washdown for vehicles. Meeting room / rest room. Disabled washroom facilities.

How will this improve the existing service?
The larger space will allow the capacity to have various projects on going, comfort for the employees during breaks, additional space for play equipment repairs, winter bulb storage, timber storage, cement / aggregate storage. There will also be a kitted workshop for ease of repairs, additional storage space for tools and additional car parking spaces for the fleet of vehicles and ride on machines. The area in itself will be improved visually tidying up the current facilities.

What future running costs will this incur, and how will that impact the rate payer?
The running costs are not expected to be much more than they are now so we would not expect a noticeable up lift in costs.

What difference will this make to the service delivery, for example; grass and hedge cutting schedules?
The building alone with not impact the schedule but the Council is running a separate project to look at delivering an enhanced grounds maintenance service and will give separate updates accordingly.

Will there be any investment in equipment?
There will not be any investment in new equipment as part of this project. All our equipment is replaced as it becomes end of life or obsolete.

Have you considered any environmental initiatives when installing this building?
A great deal of consideration has been given to environmental matters. The facility will be equipped to allow a transition to electric vehicles for our whole fleet over the next few years.

The building will have solar panels fitted to generate much of the electricity the building needs and will ensure efficient use of water piping clean rain water into the allotments for use. Due to all our facilities being on one site our vehicles will travel less – with plans to reduce their carbon footprint further each year, until eventually being replaced by electric vehicles.

Has there been any impact on leisure garden plots?
Three plots were affected due to designated area for the build of the facility. Three affected plot holders were reallocated to an alternative site and the Council is hopeful that planning permission and lease variations will be agreed by Swindon Borough Council for the permission to build an additional 12 full size plots on the land adjacent to extend the facility beyond the current boundary. If permission is agreed, raised beds can be installed and the leisure garden plots will be accessible for any additional needs.

 

Future planning for continued delivery of the Council’s parks and open spaces management

Future planning for continued delivery of the Council’s parks and open spaces management 1900 1200 Caroline Hunt

Haydon Wick Parish Council has announced exciting plans to support the delivery of their parks and open spaces service with the redevelopment of their existing facility, to enable continued high standards of outdoor spaces maintenance.

The Parish Council’s in-house Parks & Open Spaces (POS) service has increased significantly since 2017, when Swindon Borough Council devolved the responsibility to the Parish Council. As the scale of operation has grown, so has the necessity to improve the temporary service arrangement. The proposed regenerated facility, pending the outcome of planning permission, is to be built at Goodearl Leisure Gardens, home of the current temporary site, and will replace the temporary shipping containers arrangement.

Councillor Richard Hailstone, Chair of the Council’s Parks & Open Spaces Committee had this to say regarding the location of the improved facility:

“Over the past 18 months we have undertaken a feasibility study to find a suitable location for the facility. Due to Goodearl site being at the centre of our parish, close to all amenities and our office we would like to remain on the current site and make this our permanent home for our facility”.

Councillor Steve Heyes, Vice Chairman of the Parks & Open Spaces Committee said of the project: “It is a great opportunity to equip our team with a modern work base from which to deliver our services to the parish to the best standard we can. We will be proud to develop one of the most environmentally friendly sites in the area demonstrating that we really do care for the environment in which we all live”.

The facility will be sympathetic to its natural surroundings, use environmentally friendly materials, and will enable increased functionality for the service provision. The Council has also prioritised ensuring the redeveloped site is a long-term sustainable facility, and will include environmentally friendly energy conversion methods, and an electric vehicle charging unit.

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