Council aiming to make big splash with a new play area

The proposed play area

Mayor Harry Eaglestone

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Witney and West Oxfordshire. Call me on 01865 425483

FAMILIES are being invited to have their say on plans for what designers hope will be one of the county’s best splash parks and play areas.

The proposed £200,000 facility is part of The Leys recreation ground revamp in Witney.

News of the consultation comes as the project received a further £45,000 cash boost from the district council.

Witney Town Council has designed a map with the district council to show parents and children its ideas for the site.

As well as the new splash park to replace the 45-year-old paddling pool, it could include a “village play area” of climbing frames and an obstacle course, a tree-top walk, mounds and tunnels, and a sandpit with a pirate ship feature and treasure chest. A new feature would be created by the entrance, there would be a sheltered seating area, and the mini golf course will be refurbished.

The town council’s splash park working party chairman, mayor Harry Eaglestone, said: “Everyone’s got ideas but they are only ideas at the moment.

“The way I see it, the splash park is the main feature because we need to replace somewhere for the children to play in and be safe.

“The Leys has always been very popular in the past with the younger people of Witney and we’re hoping to achieve a really good place for people to go and enjoy themselves.”

The funding from the district council’s community facilities grant fund is subject to the project receiving planning permission and partnership funding.

It will push the fundraising total to just under £180,000 after landfill tax grants body Wren gave £75,000 last month.

Mr Eaglestone said there were other ideas not included in the plans, such as improving the pavilion, installing toilets and building a graffiti wall to reduce vandalism in the town.

Water from the splash park will also be recycled to water council-owned areas such as the cricket pitch and flower beds.

Mr Eaglestone added: “The project is now being pushed forward and for this part of Oxfordshire it could be one of the best play areas around.”

Witney’s only outdoor pool was closed in February last year because of broken slabs around the pool. The pool had to be shut five times in 2013 due to broken bottles found in the water.

It is hoped final plans for the splash park will be unveiled in the autumn, with a view to starting the redevelopment during the spring next year.

To have your say on the splash park plans, call the town council on 01993 704379

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Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:05pm Sat 21 Jun 14

Myron Blatz says...

Ah! Wren mentioned again, with its massive £75,000 of 'guilt money' from the landfill grants body.
Ah! Wren mentioned again, with its massive £75,000 of 'guilt money' from the landfill grants body. Myron Blatz
  • Score: -1

9:52pm Sun 22 Jun 14

dave from witney says...

For Christ's sake just get on with it. With the lack of progress and all these 'consultations' at this rate it should be ready by about January 2028 Just in time for the Mayor to break the ice They have taken away the very popular kiddies paddle pool and all the little kids have nowhere to splash.
For Christ's sake just get on with it. With the lack of progress and all these 'consultations' at this rate it should be ready by about January 2028 Just in time for the Mayor to break the ice They have taken away the very popular kiddies paddle pool and all the little kids have nowhere to splash. dave from witney
  • Score: 0

11:51am Mon 23 Jun 14

jennie65 says...

stop discussing it and get building it. the pool has served the town well for many many years until the morons at health and safety got bees in bonnets.
I played there as a child and my children played there. Hopefully you will get something sorted before they have children.
stop discussing it and get building it. the pool has served the town well for many many years until the morons at health and safety got bees in bonnets. I played there as a child and my children played there. Hopefully you will get something sorted before they have children. jennie65
  • Score: -3

11:51pm Mon 23 Jun 14

C ARINGAROSA says...

There was nothing wrong with the old paddling pool , it was used for many years, and gave a lot of simple fun for thousands of children. It only needs a fairly small amount of work to make it useable and safe again. Why spend nearly £200,000 on an ego trip, for the yobs to wreck.All of this heath and safety is a load of complete nonsense and should be scrapped, and then we can all get back to sanity.How I have survived to nearly 80, I dont know.
C. Aringarosa, Corn Street,Witney.
There was nothing wrong with the old paddling pool , it was used for many years, and gave a lot of simple fun for thousands of children. It only needs a fairly small amount of work to make it useable and safe again. Why spend nearly £200,000 on an ego trip, for the yobs to wreck.All of this heath and safety is a load of complete nonsense and should be scrapped, and then we can all get back to sanity.How I have survived to nearly 80, I dont know. C. Aringarosa, Corn Street,Witney. C ARINGAROSA
  • Score: 0

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