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Construction starts on new £180,000 play area at Hunter Avenue in Willesborough


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Work on a new play area with an outdoor gym costing £180,000 has started in Willesborough.

The space in Hunter Avenue will include a 25m long zip wire, a junior multiplay unit, a double width slide, a swing area and mini football goals.

Some of the equipment is already taking shape
Some of the equipment is already taking shape

It is being paid for by a combination of funding from the government and Kent County Council (KCC).

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) says it designed the site based on the results from a consultation with residents when the previous park was taken down in February 2020.

Accessibility and inclusive play were highlighted as important and as a result, a fenced off play area for younger children with a Disability Discrimination Act-compliant roundabout and a high backed swing chair have been included.

It has also been designed to ensure all weather access and will have play equipment for all abilities and age groups.

New seating and picnic tables will also be installed to provide communal space.

How the park looked before it was taken down in 2020. Picture: Google Street View
How the park looked before it was taken down in 2020. Picture: Google Street View

Bosses hope it will be ready to open in the spring.

Cllr Matthew Forest, portfolio holder for culture, tourism and leisure, said "The new play equipment and gym facility will provide an exciting outdoor experience, and the accessible equipment ensures the fun will be available to even more people.

"Hunter Avenue, combined with our recent investment announcement in another three key play areas, means thousands more residents will have access to high-quality, accessible, outside recreation.

"These installations contribute to fitness and wellbeing and provide space for communities to mingle and friends and family to spend quality time together."

Once the equipment is up and running, Aspire Landscape Management will block out areas for meadow grass to grow, in a bid to improve biodiversity.

"These installations contribute to fitness and wellbeing and provide space for communities ..."

In an ABC cabinet meeting in September, councillors approved the £1.1 million investment in the Play Regeneration Programme which will focus on building play parks across three more areas.

These include Rylands Park in Bybrook; Central Park in Park Farm; and Spearpoint Recreation Ground in Kennington, which will benefit over 4,600 households within walking distance.

Work on those schemes is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Previous parks that have gone through refurbishment include those in Church Road, Sevington, and St Anne’s Road, both completed in 2019.

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