GREEN LIGHT FOR GODSHILL’S WHEELCHAIR-FRIENDLY PLAYGROUND

The Isle of Wight’s first wheelchair-friendly playground has been given the green light by planning officials.

Proposed by Godshill Parish Council, the play park on Central Mead, off Godshill High Street, will be built to include inclusive equipment.

Approved by the Isle of Wight Council’s planning authority last week, a wheelchair swing, an open lowered roundabout and ramped play equipment, all suitable for wheelchair users, will be installed. Other play apparatus such as slides, climbing nets and a zip wire are all marked on the plans as well as some adult exercise equipment.

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Commenting on the proposals back in March, the former cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, Councillor Paul Brading, said he was acutely aware of the lack of quality outdoor play parks on the Island but the carefully thought out design and selection of the equipment would cater for the children it’s intended for.

Nikki Collinson-Phenix, part of the Godshill Play Park Project, said the proposed play would not only be a huge asset to Godshill but also to the Island and allows families and children to be able to play together, regardless of any challenges they may face.

The proposals would also see the current ‘tired’ pavilion building demolished and a new community centre, with a hall, kitchen area and changing rooms, built instead.

Nikki said the 2 proposals on Central Mead were perfectly located and meant Godshill could have a central community hub it could be proud of.

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Concerns had been raised, however,  over the new play area, which would affect the public right of way, which would cross the field.

Island Roads recommended the development be refused because of inadequate access width, pedestrian access, parking provision and the generation of traffic onto the public highway through a sub-standard access.

Council planning officers said they were of the view that the work would not change the use of the land nor intensify the users of the site that could be expected.

The scheme will be delivered in 2 phases, starting with the play area followed by the community centre.

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Recommending granting permission, officers said:

“The proposed development would provide for an improved community asset which would upgrade and promote the existing outdoor space.

“The proposed works would protect residential and visual amenity and would provide betterment to the current facilities.”

18 conditions have been attached to the permission, which includes the stipulation that the development should begin with 3 years.

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