Plans for a new £300,000 splash zone in Wiltshire have been scrapped after rising costs and planning difficulties hit the project.

Calne Town Council had planned for a splash zone to be built at The Recreation Ground on Anchor Road by the summer of 2024.

This proposal proved popular with residents, with the council finding that the seasonal facility was a “key priority” for many during a community engagement exercise.

A public consultation was held on the plans last year after two companies submitted proposals of what the splash zone could look like during a design and build tender for the work.

But now the idea has been abandoned after rising costs, and difficulties in obtaining permission for the water connection, meant the proposal could no longer be delivered within the budget.

The town council says these issues sank the scheme despite extensive contact with the water supply company and support from the splash zone supplier.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: One of the proposals for the Calne splash zoneOne of the proposals for the Calne splash zone (Image: Calne Town Council)

Increased costs to the supplier had been held over at 2023 prices, to allow discussions to continue, but would have increased the funding needed from the town council.

At a meeting on Monday, April 15, councillors committed to reallocating the funding previously set aside for the splash zone project.

This money will now be spread across multiple schemes to improve play value at the Recreation Ground and across all town council play areas.

Director of council services Alison Robinson said: “We are now working on plans to improve play areas across the town which we hope will provide improved facilities.  

“Negotiations are ongoing with Wiltshire Council about the transfer of the play areas they look after. 

“With costs for a Splash Zone likely to exceed £300,000 this investment can now be shared across the town.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The Recreation Ground, CalneThe Recreation Ground, Calne (Image: Calne Town Council)

Town Mayor, Cllr Robert MacNaughton, insisted that councillors remain committed to providing facilities for children and teenagers despite the setback.

He added: “We understand that many will be disappointed that a splash zone will not be installed at the Recreation Ground, but we had to weigh up the escalating costs against the investment needed to bring a seasonal facility to the Recreation Ground. 

“We will be looking at approving other projects in the coming weeks for both children and teenagers.”

The Town Council has already committed funding for new public toilets at both the North End Play area and The Recreation Ground.