Red Lodge Parish Council set to take over reopened play area

(L-R) Parish councillors Roger Dicker and Carol Downs with Daniel Dicker, 13 and Jamie Dicker, 8 at the play area in Red Lodge that has recenly been re-opened and is now under council control.'Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography ANL-150216-191812009
(L-R) Parish councillors Roger Dicker and Carol Downs with Daniel Dicker, 13 and Jamie Dicker, 8 at the play area in Red Lodge that has recenly been re-opened and is now under council control.'Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography ANL-150216-191812009
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Residents in Red Lodge are celebrating the reopening of a ‘greatly missed’ playground as parish councillors prepare to take its maintenance into their own hands.

The playground, near the village’s sports pavilion in Hundred Acre Way, was closed several months ago after a safety check raised concerns about broken equipment and damaged safety surfacing.

Following extensive repair work, Red Lodge Parish Council was given the okay to reopen the playground by owners Crest Nicholson last weekend - and will soon be taking over control of it.

Red Lodge parish councillor Roger Dicker said: “The plain, simple idea was to get everything fixed as then as soon as possible to get it into the parish council’s hands. It is the plan for us to take ownership and look after it.

“The reopening is brilliant news, and some good work has been done. A lot of residents were very frustrated by the closure, and rightly so. It is very heavily used and was very greatly missed.

“We weren’t prepared as a parish council to pay to repair something we didn’t own, but Crest just got on with the job.”

New equipment has come from as far as Scandanavia and the surfacing has been fixed. One small section is still to be returfed, but has been fenced off until the work is complete.

Cllr Dicker, also a district councillor for Red Lodge ward, said the transfer of ownership is being finalised and should be completed ‘any day now’.

The parish council will receive some funding from the developers to maintain the play area.

Cllr Dicker said: “Like all other assets the parish council owns, we will take care of it and do our best for the community with it.”

Managing Director of Crest Nicholson Eastern, Peter Diffley, said: “The official handover of the playground to the council will take place imminently. This is the latest stage in the ongoing evolution of the community spaces at the development.”