News

Chapelhouse Road Recreation Ground opens to the public

Chapelhouse Recreation Ground Complete June 2008

(12th June 2008)

The transformation of one of North Solihull's most popular recreation grounds is now complete thanks to a £300,000 improvement programme funded by the North Solihull Partnership.

Chapelhouse Road Recreation Ground, located in Fordbridge, is one of several large green spaces being transformed by the £1.8 billion Regenerating North Solihull project – with the aim of making them safer and more accessible to local residents of all ages.

An improvement plan was put together following an extensive consultation process with local residents and school children, resulting in the introduction of a multi-use games court, children's play area, seating, cycle rests, defined tarmac paths and seven secure entry points around the site.

Janet Bradbury, chief executive of the North Solihull Partnership, said: "One of the main commitments of the regeneration programme is to improve the quality of the open space in North Solihull. On listening to the needs and concerns of the local residents it was clear that one of the major issues at Chapelhouse Road recreation ground was the use of cars and motorbikes on the grassed areas.

"As a result we have fenced the parkland off and installed special barriers at the entrances to prevent vehicles driving onto it.  This coupled with other measures such as improved lighting will help deter anti-social behaviour and provide a safe, accessible facility for the residents of North Solihull.

"Money from the sale of land for development is recycled back into the Partnership and helps fund schemes like the Chapelhouse Road recreation ground. Our pioneering funding model enables us to reinvest money from the sale of land in North Solihull into better community facilities such as new schools, village centres and improved green space.

"Sometimes the area of open space will be reduced, but not always, and wherever areas are retained they are enhanced with additional facilities for local people and their children. We believe that the significant improvements being made to the quality of green space across North Solihull will encourage more local people to use the extensive areas of parkland because we are making it safer, cleaner and more attractive."

Safety at the recreation ground has been significantly improved because the new houses and apartments at Chapel Walk - the new residential development located on Chapelhouse Road next to the recreation ground – have been designed so they overlook the open space. Designed in conjunction with North Solihull's Design Champion, Jim Chapman, the 97 homes at Chapel Walk enjoy a superb setting, and it also means the recreation ground has people looking out over it from the properties, which is proven to reduce anti-social behaviour. 

The extensive landscaping of Chapelhouse Road Recreation Ground was designed by renowned Midlands landscape practice Bea Landscape Design Ltd. Dan Rudge from Bea Landscape Design said: "We have introduced a whole host of improvements to the recreation ground to make it more welcoming and secure for the local community, including extensive re-grading to provide improved visibility across the site.

"A large amount of tree planting and woodland edging has taken place to attract and maintain the levels of local wildlife, which will help give the area a more natural feel.  The addition of interpretive sign boards detailing the wildlife on view adds an extra interactive edge. Defined tarmac paths have also been introduced to make moving around the site easier. Local residents now have a green space they can feel proud of and perhaps more importantly, feel safe using."

Chapelhouse Road Recreation Ground is situated next to the Grace Academy and Chapel Walk – a development of 97 houses and apartments that is being constructed by Bellway Homes, one of the four partners within the North Solihull Partnership.

For more information please visit the Regenerating North Solihull website, found at www.northsolihull.co.uk.  The website contains everything residents need to know about the £1.8 billion project, from the reasons behind it to what residents can expect over the 15-year life-cycle of the scheme.