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Residents welcome plan for outdoor gym
Published 02/06/14

RESIDENTS have welcomed plans to set up activity areas for adults and teenagers in Goring.

The Goring and Streatley Amenity Association wants to improve people’s health by installing outdoor exercise equipment.

It conducted a survey last month and 98 per cent of the 240 households who responded supported the idea.

Most said the equipment should be distributed across multiple sites in the two villages. The most popular site was Sheepcot Field in Goring, followed jointly by Gardiner recreation ground and the playing fields in Streatley.

Supporters were also asked what should be provided and the most popular item was outdoor gym equipment with 65 per cent of respondents asking for it. Fifty-eight per cent wanted a climbing wall or a zip wire while 57 per cent requested and a trail for mountain bikes.

Forty-eight per cent wanted skateboard ramps or a permanent table tennis table and 22 per cent requested a covered shelter.

The association first proposed a £30,000 play area for teenagers on Sheepcot Field or land at Ferry Lane last year.

The idea was prompted by a competition it had organised in which more than 200 children suggested ways to improve the villages. The parish council, which owns both plots, refused permission after residents complained that they had not been consulted.

They feared the playground would become a hot spot for antisocial behaviour and would be too cramped on one site.

The association changed its plan to include equipment for adults, bringing the potential cost up to £50,000, and agreed to carry out the survey.

John Boler, of the association’s gap fun and fitness sub-committee, said: “We made a tactical error when we first presented our case.

“We rushed the project, thinking we would be able to get funding more quickly, but we should have established the extent of demand first. This survey has conclusively proven the demand is there even among the older age groups, which was a surprise to us.

“Anyone living in the villages was able to respond and more than one in five households did so, so the case is very strong.

“It was interesting that people called for different things in different places as we might not have considered that without the survey.”

The association will now look at the proposed sites in detail to see how much room there is for equipment. It will then put together a proposal to present to both Goring and Streatley parish councils.

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

Published 02/06/14

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