Thursday, 17 August 2017

£30,000 teenagers’ playground rejected

PLANS for a play area for teenagers in Goring have been turned down.

PLANS for a play area for teenagers in Goring have been turned down.

The Goring and Streatley Amenity Association wanted to create the facility to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

It hoped to use the north-west corner of Sheepcot Field or the open space at Ferry Lane, both of which are owned by the parish council.

But the council unanimously refused to back the £30,000 scheme following concerns raised by residents, who feared it would become a hot spot for noise and antisocial behaviour and complained they had not been consulted.

The association wanted the play area to include a BMX bike track, a zip wire, wooden climbing frames and a table tennis table for use by 12- to 15-year-olds.

It planned to apply for grants to cover half the cost and fund-raise for the other half.

The finished park would have been handed over to the parish council, which would have been responsible for maintaining it.

More than a dozen residents attended a council meeting to express their concern.

Mike Stares, whose home in Whitehills Green backs on to Sheepcot Field, said: “This proposal has not been thought out.

“The site is very small and it is not practical to site a BMX track and zip wire there unless it extends to the rest of the field.

“It is also right on the edge of Goring and as far as possible from the centre of Streatley. Surely it should be in a more central location.”

Maureen Evans, who spoke on behalf of the residents of Hillside and Gatehampton Road, said: “The proposed location is far too secluded, tucked behind residential properties.

“It would not be visible enough to ensure adequate controls against antisocial behaviour.”

Councillor Catherine Hall said: “Such a facility could lead to problems with children coming from other towns on the train and causing a nuisance. I do not think it would be an asset to the village.”

Councillor Lawrie Reavill said: “There is no indication of the maintenance costs... we do not have the money for it.”

Association chairman John Boler said: “We’re conscious that the plan was weak in a lot of areas. The comments about the lack of consultation were fair but the trouble is you have to start somewhere.

“In order to make any other moves, for instance going for funding, we had to get it off the ground by saying where it would be.

“At least we now know which parts of the plan we need to go back and sort out.”

The idea was prompted by a competition organised by the association last year called When I Grow Up in which more than 200 primary schoolchildren suggested ways to improve Goring for future generations.

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