Lanchester Park Consultation
(20th December 2007)
Young people have their say on plans to transform North Solihull park
Proposals to transform a North Solihull park into a multi-purpose leisure facility for all the community have been unveiled to local residents at a special consultation event.
The event at Park Hall School, which was part of a wider consultation, was open to all residents living in the Lanchester Way area of North Solihull so they could have their say about the Â£500,000 project to transform Lanchester Park. Once the views gathered from the community have been incorporated into the plans, an outline planning application will be submitted to Solihull Council, which is scheduled to take place early in the New Year.
The proposals for the park improvement project, which would be carried out as part of the Regenerating North Solihull programme, would see Lanchester Park completely redesigned to include a central 'park plaza', a multi-use games court, a skate and BMX park, as well as junior and senior football pitches. A new tree-lined boulevard would also be created through the park with additional landscaping throughout.
The consultation event, which was run by the North Solihull Partnership – the consortium implementing the Â£1.8 billion transformation of the area – and Munro-Whitten, the landscape architects developing the scheme, saw visitors comment on the plans in a variety of ways including feedback forms, writing directly onto the plans, and using coloured dots to identify where different elements should be located.
Special emphasis was given to engaging with young people in the area, and those who attended the event were encouraged to cut out pictures of examples of play equipment they would like to see at the park. Prior to the event, Steven Brown, the Children and Young People's Active Involvement Officer for the Partnership, made a presentation to more than 100 children at the school, as well as more than 30 children following the event.
Becke Ayres from Whitefriars Housing Group, one of the four partners in the North Solihull Partnership, led the team responsible for the consultation. She said: "Lanchester Park is important to the local community, so it is crucial that local people were able to have their say about what they would like to see from this transformation project.
"Due to the nature of some of the improvements, such as a new play area and skate park, we placed particular importance on ensuring that young people were involved in the consultation process and the feedback they have provided will be invaluable in drawing up the final plans for the park."
Steven Brown, North Solihull Partnership's Children and Young People's Active Involvement Officer said: "The creation of this new community facility, including a new skate and BMX park is extremely exciting for the young people living in North Solihull, so it was important that they had their say on where it should go and what it should look like.
"We were extremely pleased with the turnout at the event from children and young people who wanted to express their views, and we also received a petition of more than 100 youngsters giving their support for the project, clearly showing that young people want to get involved in this regeneration scheme."
Regenerating North Solihull will see the construction of 8,000 new homes, improvements to 12,500 more, 10 new primary schools created, five new village centres, and significant improvements to the transport infrastructure and open spaces. The North Solihull Partnership that is delivering the project comprises a consortium made up of Solihull Council, registered social landlord Whitefriars Housing Group, regeneration specialists Inpartnership and house builder Bellway Homes.