The Head of Environment presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated. He advised that the purpose of the report was to seek Council authority to approve the Coshquin Play Provision subject to the outcome of achieving Full Planning Approval.
Council Durkan welcomed this much needed amenity in the Coshquin area. She referred to Council’s impressive background in regards to play provision across the City. Whilst acknowledging the poor attendance at the recent community consultation exercise, she stressed the importance of consultation in going forward. She referred to design issues which may require further consideration particularly in regards to disability play provision.
The Head of Environment explained that any Council designed facility would include accessibility as standard. He pointed out that there were specific requirements for children and adults with special needs. He advised that a Consultant had been appointed to assess play provision across the Council district, the first installation being Brooke Park. He pointed out that such facilities required different types of management arrangement. He assured that there would be facilities across the district for children with specific play requirements.
Councillor McCann welcomed this initiative. He referred to the significance any sizeable delay on young children. He anticipated that this facility would create a central space in Coshquin.
Councillor Ferguson acknowledged the significance of this facility for the Coshquin area. She anticipated that the consultation would take place within the proposed timeframe.
The Chairperson advised that the timeframe would depend on planning permission and further reports would be presented to committee on progress thereon.
Alderman Hussey referred to proposals for play provision in other Council areas and the need for renovation works to be carried out to a number of existing play facilities.
The Head of Environment referred to the appointment of Play Consultants who were tasked with carrying out a review of play provision throughout the Council district as part of which existing facilities would be assessed including where improvements were required and where there was currently no play provision. Their findings would inform a Masterplan for play provision across the region. He acknowledged problems in regards to Killen where there were a number of unique issues it was anticipated would be resolved. He stated that Newtownstewart and Magheramason were currently being progressed and this was a significant investment. He stated that considerable inroads were being made in regards to Sion Mills. He emphasised Council’s commitment to play provision throughout the district.
Alderman McCready pointed out that during the previous two months Faughan based Councillors had attended a consultation regarding the Park. He expressed concern that the plan presented did not contain any provision for disabled children. He enquired if Council had a policy that any renovations or upgrades would include disabled provision.
The Head of Planning advised that all Council’s new facilities were designed to be accessible which differed from equipment which had special use. He stated that the Masterplan would identify any gaps which existed. He continued that there were specific requirements regarding equipment which had to be properly managed because of the dangers it could present.
The Head of Environment advised that Council were progressing with the replacement of equipment at Eglinton on a like for like bases but were contacted by citizens who opposed this. This was currently being reviewed and when finalised, the findings would be presented to Committee and he anticipated that it would meet with the requirements of those citizens who were opposed to the previous choice of replacement.
Subsequently the Committee
Recommended that Members endorse the designs and further community consultation exercise subject to the successful outcome of the planning application and instruct Council’s Legal Services and LPS to initiate land transfer arrangements.