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Council aiming to make big splash with a new play area
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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