Builders’ funds to pay for improving Malmesbury parks

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Derek Tilney in the play area of Newnton Grove, Malmesbury Derek Tilney in the play area of Newnton Grove, Malmesbury

Thousands of pounds could be spent improving two play parks in Malmesbury.

Preparations are in place to completely renovate Newnton Grove play park and Filands play area, using tens of thousands of pounds in planning gain money from developers of small plots.

It is thought up to £70,000 could be available for the proposals.

Coun Amanda Kettlety, of Malmesbury Town Council, is leading a working group looking at improving Newnton Grove play area, built by Greensquare Housing when it was Westlea.

She said: “I was very concerned about the health and safety of the park. It’s really badly put together. We are looking at totally refurbishing it.”

Many people have been complaining about a small group of unsupervised youngsters, no older than 11, shouting, swearing and intimidating mothers with toddlers.

Derek Tilney has been campaigning for improvements to the Newnton Grove park at various points since it opened in 2007. The most recent time was last November, when a heavy metal shackle that connects the swings fell down.

He said: “The mothers are worried up there, because once the park starts to go to pieces you get the yobby boys and girls.

“It needs someone to have a clean sweep, because it’s the children who are the losers in this.”

Ideas for Newnton Grove include a boundary wall to stop balls being kicked against fences, which are breaking; new play equipment, including a basketball hoop, an evened-out floor as the current one dips, and benches.

Anyone with ideas, or who would like to be involved in the transformation, can call Coun Kettlety on (01666) 829085.

Plans are also under way for the Filands play area, with resident Wayne Bull gathering the suggestions on how to improve the park and surrounding area.

About £40,000 is available for the renovation from the Hitchins Close small development and money left from Persimmon.

He said: “I live on the edge of the park. I overlook it and I walk my dog out there four times a day, so I know it well.

“One of the main problems we have got is dog mess. I’ve been to the youth and leisure committee at the town council and put forward my proposals and they have agreed it. It’s for the town council to get quotes now.”

Ideas include extending toddler area railings and the dog walkers’ path, more dog waste bins, goalposts and bringing in more play equipment.

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