New look for Town’s busiest Play Park
Work is underway to improve the children’s play area in Diss Park, located next to the Mere in the heart of the town and used by many from surrounding villages.
Diss Town Council has contracted Proludic to install four new pieces of equipment (see insert photo) targeted at older children (7+), which will sit alongside existing equipment. The works are scheduled to take place before the ground hardens during winter months. The younger children’s’ area will remain as existing except for one new piece of equipment – Romeo, the snail rocker. Thank you to all those that voted on the Council’s consultation via the social media poll and at our Offices.
Despite the reasonable appearance of the ten-year old play equipment, regular risk assessment reports received by the Town Council recommended removal of several items of equipment to meet safety requirements. Importing replacement parts from the only supplier in the United States was going to be more costly than the cost of providing brand new play equipment.
The Town Council was pleased to be able to donate the old zip wire to the Fair Green Neighbourhood Association for re-use.
Most of this project is being paid for from Section 106 monies, which are developer contributions from the Longmeadow estate. The remaining balance will be paid for from Community Infrastructure Levy funds (these are also developer contributions but for more general infrastructure improvements).
The S106 funds were to be spent by either Diss or Roydon Council ‘for the provision extension or improvement of indoor or outdoor physical recreational facilities or equipment within the parish of Roydon and Diss in lieu of the actual provision of adult/older children outdoor recreational open space provision and for no other purpose’. Any expenditure will need to relate specifically to the ‘adult/older children’ category.
The Town Council has been working with neighbouring parish, Roydon over the last few years, to identify suitable projects that meet the above criteria and that can be delivered by the March 2020 deadline to avoid the funds being returned to the developer.
Roydon Parish Council consulted their residents and considered several projects including upgrade to their village hall and adult gym equipment. Unfortunately, the village hall improvements did not meet the criteria and the optimal location couldn’t be agreed upon for the gym equipment.
As Roydon had been unable to identify any projects specifically for their parish, given the view that all of the projects put forward for ‘Diss’ would benefit the residents of surrounding villages almost in equal measure and with the timeframe for expenditure of the monies in mind, Roydon Parish Council put forward, in September 2018, the improvements to the skateboard park at the Sports Ground (owned by Diss Town Council but located in Roydon parish) and improvements to the play equipment at Fair Green (situated next to both Roydon and Diss) to South Norfolk Council (who hold the funds) for consideration.
These two projects followed a previous submission for the Park play equipment upgrade and reconfiguring the first floor of the Diss Youth & Community Centre, which had already been approved as eligible projects by SNC and agreed with Roydon Parish Council.
All projects were considered eligible for expenditure of the S106 funds and in addition £20k of the total fund pot was earmarked to Roydon Parish Council to continue investigating options.
At Roydon Parish Council’s recent meeting, it was agreed that options would be explored for an additional piece of play equipment at the South Norfolk Council owned play area on the William Brown Way estate off Roydon Road. If the S106 monies cannot be spent by Roydon parish by the deadline early next year, the Town Council has agreed to reserve £20k from its Community Infrastructure Levy funds, which is not restricted by the same deadline, to enable its partner parish additional time to get a project delivered.
Whilst the works to improve the Park play area are underway (expected to take up to six weeks), there are 13 other play areas in the local area to explore. South Norfolk Council own and maintain 12 playgrounds and there is the recently upgraded play area on Fair Green.
- Brushmakers Way, Diss IP22 4QZ
- De-Lucy Close, Diss IP22 4YL
- Egremont Road, Diss IP22 4NF – currently awaiting safety surfacing.
- Ensign Way, Diss IP22 4GP
- Old Coaching Place, Diss IP22 4NR
- Pursehouse Way, Diss IP22 4YB
- Scholars Walk, Diss IP22 4EA
- Shreeves Road, Diss IP22 4HS
- Sycamore Way, Diss IP22 4ZD
- Trafalgar Way, Diss IP22 4JX
- Appletree Lane, Roydon IP22 4FL
- William Brown Way, Roydon IP22 55Q
The Skateboard Park at the Sports Ground on Shelfanger Road is also receiving a makeover starting 21st October so is also open for use between now and then. These works are scheduled to take up to two weeks.
Look out for details of the Park’s grand opening event coming soon.