Express & Star

Play area set for upgrade in Cannock

Playtime is set for an upgrade at a Cannock park after councillors agreed to spend £88,000 on improvements.

Councillor Adrienne Fitzgerald at the Barnard Way play area in Cannock

The current play equipment at Barnard Way was installed more than 30 years ago. The play area is now in line for a revamp however after Cannock Chase Council cabinet members backed plans to install modern equipment.

On Thursday they agreed for £88,000 generated from housing developments in the area in recent years to be used to fund the improvements. A further £8,750 donated by the Forest of Mercia Community Interest Company will be used to plant trees and shrubs at the open space.

A report to the cabinet said: “Barnard Way Play Area sits within a deprived area of Cannock Chase and Staffordshire, with above average childhood healthy weight issues, and above the Staffordshire average numbers of children in deprived income families.

“The site at Barnard Way occupies an area of 1.4 hectares (3.5 acres) and needs upgrading, thereby providing an opportunity to not only install new modern play equipment but to also enhance and improve the open space, making it a more usable and pleasant site.

“Significant housing development has taken place over the last five years or so in Cannock. Local ward members have requested Cannock Chase Council utilise CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) ward funding identified from the new developments to deliver an improved play area within the Cannock East ward.”

Councillor Adrienne Fitzgerald, portfolio leader for housing, heritage and leisure, said: “The existing equipment on the Barnard Way play area was installed in 1991 and is not fully inclusive. So I’m delighted that this area will be improved.

“The council has an important role to play in the provision of good quality outdoor spaces for everyone to enjoy. There will be a consultation with the local community for their views on the design on the new play area this spring.”

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