Green light for new Bedlington play park
Plans for a new play park, which ‘will make a massive difference’ to children in an area of Bedlington, have been given the green light.
West Bedlington Town Council’s application for the facility on land known as 20 Acre Field, to be sited opposite 70 Millfield North, Church Lane, was unanimously approved at a meeting of the Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley Local Area Council.
It will provide a small football pitch along with a number of items of play equipment varying in height from 90cm to three metres, all enclosed by a 1.2-metre, round-top metal fence.
Coun Christine Taylor, chairman of West Bedlington Town Council, explained that there were currently two play areas in the parish, but both are on the west side of the town.
She added that the council had received a number of requests for a play area from families living in the Millfield estate and surrounding area and had involved children in the development of the park proposals.
Councillors heard the application had sparked a couple of objections, with one of the concerns being around anti-social behaviour, but Coun Taylor said that the council was happy to install a CCTV camera on a nearby lamppost.
Another had raised the issue of the loss of open space, but the meeting heard that the play area will cover an area of around 600 sq m on a field which totals almost 60,000 sq m.
However, this application only had to be decided by the committee because the development is on county council-owned land, not because of any of the objections.
There was also some discussion about an additional condition from the public protection team requiring a noise management plan, which councillors felt was excessive.
It was clarified that this sought to establish whether any of the equipment generated noise rather than seeking to control the sounds of children playing, which would not be a planning matter in any event.
Coun Barry Flux said: “Like many of you, I’m a town councillor and we have all built play parks in our areas and the only reason it’s here is because it’s on council land.
“I wholeheartedly support this and hope the young people in this part of West Bedlington have an excellent facility.”
Coun Mark Swinburn added that it was essential to provide these facilities, but that it was a shame it fell to local councils rather than being provided by housing developers.