March 8 2014 Latest news:
By Chris Hill
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Designs for a £200,000 upgrade to a Dereham play area have been approved by town councillors.
The dramatic improvements planned for the Moorgate play area will be funded by Section 106 contributions – funds secured from the developers of nearby housing estates as part of their planning conditions, to pay for recreation and community facilities.
As well as traditional swings and roundabouts, there is a modern climbing net and zip wire for older children included within the design, which followed a consultation with parents, police and other organisations.
The design was approved by the town council’s recreation committee on Tuesday.
Moorgate is one of nine play areas which are being handed over to the town from Breckland District Council.
The handover, which the town council hopes will be completed by April, will be accompanied by a commuted sum of about £120,000 to pay for the maintenance of the play areas during the next 20 years.
Town clerk Tony Needham said: “We would like to get the new equipment for Moorgate installed before the school summer holidays, but it depends on the sites being transferred to us, and in getting the necessary planning permission for the equipment to go in.
“We are hoping that even if there is a delay in transferring the rest of the nine, then this one could be transferred first so we can get it under way.
“The Section 106 money has to be spent on the locality of the development which provided the money, and there has been a lot of development within 10 minutes walk of this area, including the old Jentique site. It could have been spent on the recreation ground, but that is in quite a reasonable condition, whereas the Moorgate play area is appalling.”
Another site which is scheduled for improvements is the Neatherd play area, already owned by the town council, but for which Breckland currently manages and maintains the equipment.
Mr Needham said the town council has put aside £17,500 for new equipment at the site, and also has a sum of £5,000 from Anglian Water, but it is exploring other possible funding applications, so the final designs will depend on how much extra money can be found.