This story started several years ago and, in Autumn 2021, following strong community support (See Public Consultation section below), we submitted the proposed Master Plan to the Council.

The Master Plan was prepared by StudioWeave and LDA, our team of lead architects who were appointed late in 2020 following a public tender. Combining their extensive experience, our preliminary findings, and your feedback, they produced ‘sketch plans’ incorporating the main elements that have evolved since our preliminary concepts. This includes

  • better play and recreational facilities for all ages
  • the popularity of the pop up has made a strong case for a permanent café
  • lockdowns and concern for wellbeing have highlighted the need for more community activities, socialising and outdoor learning, especially about the environment and climate change – the aim of the ‘Hub’
  • limited space and recreational demands necessitate the relocation of FoBC’s current storage and workshop
  • increased use has led to a re-think about the zoning of the whole park: early years’ play brought closer to the facilities, more adventure play, and following an extremely successful Skate Day – facilities for skateboarders of varying expertise
  • landscaping, biodiversity and conservation remain at the heart of the proposals. This includes retaining community growing, naturalising the Beverley Brook, as well as addressing flood and climate resilience for today and into the future.

 

We continue to meet individuals and organisations to discuss the plans and it is certainly not too late to tell us if you like our ideas, or to add comments on how we can improve them  or explain to us if you think something is not right.
If and when the Council approves the Master Plan in principle (We understand it is scheduled for consideration by the Environment Committee in January),  we will proceed to Outline Planning consent, then detailed design, funding and full planning approval (through the normal channels, which will include formal public consultation). We are keen to engage the community in co-design and co-delivery of the project as it moves forward through all of these stages, so do let us know if you want to be part of the design and planning!

The Public Consultation survey results:
The public consultation reached over 200 people in person or virtually, while those visiting the website and clicking on social media are known to have exceeded 2,000. We are grateful to the 240 who took the time to complete the survey:
Overall the plans received 89% (214 replies) in favour, less than 3% (6 replies) against and 8% (20 replies) ‘Maybe’.
The more detailed questions for each element did not vary significantly from this pattern. Most popular was the café with 97% in favour and just 3 replies against and 3 maybe; support for the pump track/skateboarding and facilities specifically for elder play was 68% and 70% respectively against 11 and 10% against: we believe this is strong support, especially when taking into account the demographic of those completing the survey (with relatively few under 18 or over 65). The survey confirmed that FoBC’s storage should be moved off-site, with 53% in favour and only 3% against: however, the 44% maybe shows that this issue is less understood and may need more explanation in due course.
As the project proceeds through the additional phases of design and approval we hope that we will be able to answer the concerns of those against either specific elements or generally, as well as those who were undecided at the time.

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