Is your local Hitchin play area going?

This is Brook View. Under current plans it will be closing in 2018/19 – all equipment will be removed and it will be returned to grass.

I read earlier this week online about the potential closure of play areas in Great Ashby. Sad for those local residents but I admit I read it and moved on to some other article… Naively i’ve only just investigated further to find that of the 47 play areas in North Herts, the following is currently proposed:

  • Maintain 14 large play areas.
  • Retain 19 medium sized play areas with limited investment.
  • Remove equipment from 14 play areas

Overall this will save the Council £31,000.

The full report can be downloaded here.

So which play areas in Hitchin are affected?

This Summer, councillors visited play areas across North Herts and these were their findings:

Retain with full investment

  • Bancroft Recreation Ground
  • King George V
  • Purwell Recreation Ground
  • Ransoms Recreation Ground
  • Walsworth Common

Retain with limited investment

  • Broadmead
  • St Johns Recreation Ground
  • Smithsons Recreation Ground

Remove equipment & landscape back to green space

  • Brook View
  • Dacre Road
  • Rosehill
  • Symons Rd

Ian Albert, Labour councillor for Bearton ward said:

Playgrounds like Brook View and Dacre Road were subject to a limited survey. Now NHDC Cabinet are doing a limited consultation before they come to a final decision on 24th January. They said about Brook View: “Limited catchment area close to Broadmead (another playground) Old equipment. Scope to increase natural play feature”.

He continues:

I have leafleted residents about Dacre Road. NHDC said about this: “Small site with limited catchment. Old equipment with little sign of use. Remove equipment & landscape back to green space”. All this is self-fulfilling. If you let equipment get old and don’t repair it, of course fewer children will use it! A proper consultation with residents is now necessary.

Want to have your say?

These closures aren’t a done deal in Hitchin or any of the other affected areas. This forms the draft strategy for 2017 – 2022 which will then be open for consultation. The final draft will then be taken back to cabinet on 27th January 2017.

Residents need to email their objections and reasons as soon as possible to:

Stephen Geach
Parks & Countryside Development Manager
steve.geach@north-herts.gov.uk

Cllr Jane Gray (Cabinet Member)
jg@abbotshay.com