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Where should the council spend play areas and open spaces funding?

By Ben Comber

Green city park with a bench in background
Green city park with a bench in background

City council asks residents what they'd like to see community money from developers spent on

Residents and community groups are being asked by Cambridge City Council which play areas and open spaces they would like to see improved.

Over the next month and a half the council are listening to proposals to improve open spaces in Trumpington, Castle, Coleridge, and East Chesterton and West Chesterton and for upgrading play areas in Trumpington, Queen Edith’s and Coleridge. The council say that every ward in Cambridge has benefitted from local S106 funded projects in recent years.

Themoney comes from S106 funding which comes from developers. The council say the uneven spread of S106 funding availability across different parts of the city reflects both variations in house-building levels and significant previous spending on a wide range of local projects to mitigate the impact of development.

Improvements to the city’s parks and open spaces could include more landscaping, better paths, park benches, tree/shrub planting and biodiversity projects to encourage birds and wildlife. Proposals for play area upgrades could involve more (or a wider range of) play equipment for children and teenagers.

Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces, said: “This next funding round provides another opportunity to make further meaningful improvements to local play areas and open spaces.

“Even though S106 funding is running down now, we are maximising the spending power for play area and open space improvements by devolving it all to the area committees to decide how it should be used. We hope that local people will want to ‘have their say’.”

The council say that S106 funding is running down following tighter government regulations on developer contributions introduced in the last two years. This means that there is less scope for bids in the wards not listed above.

Trumpington has the most S106 funding available, reflecting the large scale of local housing development. The council’s South Area Committee will consider any proposals that residents might want to make for more ambitious projects there, such as large play area improvements or a new water play (splash pad) facility.

Proposals for local play area and open space improvements are invited between Tuesday 1 November and Monday 19 December 2016. More details (including a short proposals form, the council’s S106 funding selection criteria and a list of recent S106-funded projects) can be found at online.


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