Published Thursday 20 October 2022 at 11:14
Plans to transform two playgrounds at Blackburn’s flagship Witton Park have been revealed.
The £350,000 proposals include a large activity play area on the current site of The Wits and a full re-vamp of the younger children’s playground.
Blackburn with Darwen Council is looking to use Section 106 funding from new housing developments in Brokenstone Road for the project, which could be completed as early as next spring.
Councillor Quesir Mahmood, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Growth and Development, said:
What a fantastic project this could be for Witton Park – one that I know our families in the borough, and new families moving here, will be excited about.
The £350,000 Section 106 funding from the new homes in Brokenstone Road has been committed to improving green spaces in the area and could help completely transform the current Wits playground and the area for younger children.
Sadly, we’ve seen our playgrounds decline in recent years as we’ve felt the effect of a massive squeeze on our funding from Government, but we know just how important facilities like these are for our communities and so we’ve looked at other ways to help fund them.
These brand new playgrounds will help attract visitors too – helping to support local businesses.
Barratt Homes and Taylor Wimpey have applied for a variation of the S106 Agreement for their developments off Brokenstone Road.
It includes paying £350,000 ear-marked for green infrastructure in the West Blackburn area in one lump sum – paving the way for the playground transformation.
Councillor Mahmood added:
We know just how popular Witton Park is and these upgraded playgrounds really would be a welcome addition.
The new playground at Blacksnape Playing Fields in Darwen has been funded in exactly the same way using Section 106 monies from a nearby new homes development.
A similar scheme at Corporation Park has also proven to be very popular so we’re starting to build a really good set of popular playgrounds in the borough despite the difficult financial challenges we continue to face.
Improving the quality of our homes across the borough is a key priority for the Council, but so too is building strong communities and using the money these developments bring forward to benefit our residents.
Go Ape has also submitted a planning application for a family high-rope facility in Witton Park.
That application is currently being thoroughly assessed by the Council’s Planning Team. It’s expected to go before the Planning Committee, made up of elected members, for a decision in November.
As part of the application to vary the S106 agreement, members of the public are now being invited to have their say on the application.
Anyone who wishes to make representations, is asked to email: email@example.com before Wednesday, November 9th.
As part of the application, the developers are also requesting that a requirement for them to pay £26,000 towards off-site highway works in Stocklough Lane is also to be removed as it is no longer being proposed as a vehicular access point.