Shabby village play park up for renewal?

The children's play area on Heckington playing field. EMN-170304-192144001
The children's play area on Heckington playing field. EMN-170304-192144001

A village play park could be replaced and relocated if funding can be found.

Parish councillors at Heckington agreed at a meeting on Monday last week to a full feasibility study into the upgrade of the children’s play equipment in the corner of the Howell Road playing field after it was revealed the safety surface would soon need to be replaced.

Although £5,000 had been set aside in the budget for repairs, it was felt no more should be spent on it at this stage as they would virtually have to start from scratch on the current site.

Parish council chairman Coun Jan Palmer said it had been made safe but would probably not pass a future inspection without a lot of work and expense.

She said: “The play area is a disgrace. The flooring is lifting and bouncing and a lot of equipment is past its sell-by date. The boundary fence is rotten and a lot needs doing to it.

“We are trying to be proactive and forward thinking to provide a better area than it is now.”

She proposed to seek the necessary grant funding to replace and relocate the play park to a patch of spare land in front of the pavilion where parents could sit and keep an eye on their youngsters. The old play area could then be removed and used for car parking, helping to alleviate congestion outside the neighbouring primary school.

Coun Palmer suggested the new play area could be coupled with a current plan by the playing field committee to install adult exercise equipment that can be used free-of-charge by the public.

She said the new play park could be slightly bigger than the existing one and none of the sports pitches would be affected, with fencing extended to protect from stray balls.

Coun Andy Garlick said in the meantime, any equipment that becomes unsafe again should be made out of bounds.