East Suffolk residents are invited to give their views on plans to upgrade some play areas in the district, providing high-quality play spaces for children of all ages and abilities.
There are over 280 play areas in East Suffolk and East Suffolk Council owns and maintains over 60 of these. In 2022, the Council commissioned Knight, Kavanagh and Paige Ltd to carry out an independent evaluation on the council-owned play areas, looking at how the spaces were used, the type of equipment present and where improvements could be made.
This evaluation formed the basis of the Council’s Play Strategy 2023 – 2027, an in-depth study of current play provision. The strategy makes a series of recommendations and identifies play areas which could be upgraded and redeveloped to provide modern, high-quality play equipment for local families to enjoy. As part of this work, East Suffolk Council has already upgraded play spaces at Beccles Common, Matlock Dale in Carlton Colville and Langer Park in Felixstowe.
The strategy also identifies a small number of areas which are no longer suitable for modern play equipment and as there are other more suitable play areas nearby, the recommendation is that these more limited play spaces are removed. If this should happen, the areas will revert to open space and the local community will be consulted about any future use.
The play areas which are recommended for removal include Townlands, St Anne's Road, Glebe View and George Brown Way in Beccles, as well as Nock Gardens in Kesgrave.
Cllr Sarah Whitelock, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism said: “Play is essential in our children’s development, and we are committed to providing high-quality modern play spaces across the district which allow children of all ages and abilities to play together. We would like to hear from as many people as possible about how they use these play areas and what equipment they would like to see should they be redeveloped.”
These proposals are part of the first phase of a four-year programme of improvements to East Suffolk’s play areas and other consultations will take place on other areas in due course. Currently, views are being sought on play areas in Beccles, Felixstowe, Kesgrave, Trimley St Mary and Wrentham.