Saturday, 17 April 2021

Residents asked what they want at recreation ground as earthworks begin

Residents asked what they want at recreation ground as earthworks begin

RESIDENTS of Sonning Common are being urged to recommend what sports and types of equipment they want to see at the village’s new recreation ground.

The parish council is to send out a questionnaire to every household in the village.

Groundworks for the new £519,000 facility off Reades Lane, opposite Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge School, began on Monday last week.

Deputy parish clerk Ros Varnes said the questionnaire was designed to help the council spend money “wisely”.

She said: “We want to go forward with the reassurance that we are providing the sort of activities that people want so that it’s well used.

“Sonning Common has been lacking these sort of facilities for a long time and we’re very excited to develop sports and recreation facilities in the village for all ages and abilities. We feel it’s very important that all residents respond to this survey. People can fill it in and deliver it through the letter box on the right hand side of the village hall or go online and follow the link. We are also going to use a QR code that people can scan using their smartphones.”

The results of the survey will be analysed by specialists who will produce a report on their findings.

Mrs Varnes said: “The good thing is the results will be qualitative and quantitative as residents can provide comments as well. It’s the most in-depth survey we’ve ever done and we’re very excited about it. We also want to have feedback from the schools and local sports clubs.”

The earthworks could take up to 14 weeks with a maximum of 10 workmen on site at once.

The project is being carried out by Blakedown Sport & Play, of Banbury, and managed by Aurora Construction Consultancy, of London.

This marks four years of planning by a council working group after the land was sold by the Pelly family, which owned it, and developer Linden Homes for a nominal fee of £1 in return for supporting an application for 50 new homes which have since been built on the adjacent field known as Sonning Grove.

South Oxfordshire District Council, has approved £267,670 of developer contributions to go towards the work, access works and fencing.

The facility will include a main pitch for a variety of sports as well as a multi-use games area and a path around the edge of the field, which measures 4.1 hectares.

Basketball, netball, volleyball, hockey and outdoor fitness could be among the activities offered along with parkour, climbing and possibly a zip wire.

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