Residents have designs on a new park – have your say on the consultation

Designs for new play facilities for a popular park in Stone have been revealed.

Around 1500 residents, children, and members of local groups gave their views about what they wanted to see at Westbridge Park in Stone.

Stafford Borough Council is now asking for feedback on proposed plans which have been drawn up following the six week consultation earlier this year.

People can see the concept designs below, or at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/westbridgeparkconsultation and have until Monday 20 August to comment.

Toddler and junior play areas, picnic benches, wheeled sports facility and multi use games area (MUGA) are all earmarked as part of the new designs. Areas around the site have been highlighted to ensure key events can continue on the park.

Workshops will be held with young people and local groups and there will also be a chance to see the proposals, and chat to the design team, at drop in sessions in the town over the next few weeks.

The majority of people taking part in the previous consultation in February and March said improved play provision was important at the park – with toddler and junior play, as well as a MUGA, the top priorities.

And people reported the lack of suitable facilities, and that Westbridge was “boring,” as reasons why they didn’t visit the park more often.

Westbridge Park is already seeing a huge investment with work ongoing on a new multi-million pound leisure centre with 25-metre, six lane swimming pool, alongside gym and fitness studios to replace the outdated building currently on site.

Cabinet Member for Leisure at the Borough Council, Mike Smith, said:

“The offer for Stone is the largest single investment in leisure facilities ever made from council funds anywhere in the borough and we want to deliver something that local residents – especially our younger people – can enjoy and be proud of.

“Our track record on developing parks has been excellent and we want Westbridge to be a place where people and families want to come and spend time in a safe and stimulating environment.”

He added: “I’m very pleased at the numbers who took the time to give their views in the previous consultation and I hope they will now feedback on what they think of the concept designs.”

 

The drop in sessions will be on:

• Tuesday 24 July 2018 at Westbridge Park 4pm to 7pm

• Friday 17 August 2018 in Stone High Street 10am to 4pm

More information, including the results from the previous consultation, can be found at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/westbridgeparkconsultation.

The following issues and ideas have been considered in the development of the concept design:

Destination Play located in the vicinity of the new Leisure Centre.

MUGA and skatepark located to the south of the Scout Hut in order to improve natural surveillance and make use of existing flat ground and natural screening from vegetation. Location also maximises space available for Destination Play and the Venue.

Natural play trails within woodland to capitalise on extended play opportunities.

Informal canalside spaces which reflect Stone Conservation Area setting.

Stronger footpath connections to Leisure Centre.

Extended surfaced paths to provide easy access circular route around park.

Seating and viewing areas created to maximise advantageous view over Meadow and to the wider landscape.

Additional seating and picnic areas located along the peripheral circular route.

Proposed footbridge to Riverside Meadow to provide access to the park for residents on the riverside of the park. Subject to further investigation.

Incorporation of dedicated event access from Stafford Road.

Depiction of event footprints to demonstrate events space availability.

New car park proposed in front of Scout Hut to make use of redundant space. Layout contingent on ability to relocate existing utilities unit.

Informal overspill car park to provide additional car parking spaces.

Formalised Canoe Club car park to improve functionality and appearance, with provision of disabled access ramp from car park.

Removal of track from Scout Hut to southern (removed) car park to deter anti-social behaviour driving and contain vehicles along northern stretch of park.

Removal of informal southern car park due to flooding issues. Pond constructed to attenuate excess water.

New landscaping to improve the visual appeal of the park from Stafford Road in order to enhance views of park upon entry to Stone.

In the short to medium term there will still be football pitches at Westbridge Park. But the national Football Association (FA) is working on a local football facilities plan for the borough. Alongside this piece of work SBC is also developing a new ‘Playing Pitch Strategy’ which will inform the future provision of sports pitches and ancillary facilities, such as changing rooms, across the borough. These plans will be developed in conjunction with Staffordshire FA, Local Leagues and Local Clubs