SCORES of playgrounds could have their equipment removed entirely – as Kirklees Council tries to boost play provision across the district.
The council has put together recommendations that officials claim will improve fixed play provision.
Smaller play areas with ageing pieces of apparatus will have the equipment ripped out and replaced with open play spaces. Residents have been asked to give their views on the recommendations, which aim to ensure all council-managed play equipment in the district is less than 15 years old by 2022.
A plan to create three categories of play spaces was approved by Council cabinet members this week. They are either ‘Destination Park’, ‘Community Play Area’ or ‘Doorstep Playable Space’.
Officials have designated 137 playgrounds as ‘Doorstep Playable Space’, most of which only have small amounts of equipment.
Over the next three years , these spaces will have all their equipment removed and will be converted into open areas to “encourage and facilitate informal play”.
Kirklees says the remainder – 107 play areas – will be improved with all-new equipment for a wider age range, including natural features such as logs, mounds and boulders.
Larger ‘Destination Parks’ will have the best equipment and skate/wheel parks. In North Kirklees, these include Hyrstlands and Wilton Parks (Batley), Oakwell Hall (Birstall), Earlsheaton Park, Rectory Park and Crow Nest Park (Dewsbury), Holroyd Park (Ravensthorpe) and Royds Park (Liversedge).
There are 314 play spaces in Kirklees which have fixed play equipment, with a further 28 multi-use games areas and skate parks.
The council says the quality of equipped play areas is declining because of the high number of sites and reduced resources available.
Coun Naheed Mather, cabinet member for communities and environment, said: “We want our children to have the best start in life and access to play spaces should be seen as part of this.
“Physical activity is an essential element of health and wellbeing and is one way to maintain a healthy weight, prevent long-term conditions and enjoy good mental health.”
PLAYGROUNDS SET TO LOSE EQUIPMENT:
Chinewood Estate, Springfield Avenue, Hume Crescent, Hamza Close, France Street, Beaumont Street, Grafton Street, Heaton Grange, Howard Street, Hyrstlands Flats, Batley Carr Community Centre, Warwick Road
Bleak House, Arncliffe Road, Burnsall Road, Woodsome Estate, Millbrook Gardens A, Millbrook Gardens B
Birstall & Birkenshaw
Turnpike Close, Millers Croft, Brow Wood Road
Pavillion View, Whitechapel Rec, Brooklyn Estate 1, Brooklyn Estate 2, Brooklyn Estate 3, Manor Park Road 1, Manor Park Road 2
Smallwood Road, Carr House Park, Naylor Court, Battye Street, Milton Walk, Hazel Crescent
The Sidings, Ouzelwell Estate, Park House Drive, Lees Hall Road
Moorside Estate 1, Moorside Estate 2, Moorside Estate 3, Heckmondwike Road, Dewsbury Moor, Oastler Street, Kingfisher Crescent, Lee Street, Sackville Street, Park Road
Asquith Fields, Fairfield Way, Priestley Gardens, Brighton Street, Lobley Street, Horton Street, Mallard Close
Liversedge & Gomersal
Windybank Rec, Church Meadows, Popeley Rise, The Coppice, Priory Court, Aspen Close, Red House Museum
Northway Gardens A, Northway Gardens B, Kiln Avenue, Ings Grove Park, Huddleston Court.