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Children’s Play Area

posted 11 Sep 2017, 06:35 by Phil Ellis
CRA have been informed by Three Rivers District and Chorleywood Parish Councillor Martin Trevett, that the long discussed new play space for Chorleywood’s children has moved a step closer.  Martin Trevett writes that this is following the unanimous vote at Three Rivers Leisure and Well Being Committee on 6th September to agree to seek planning permission, and section 38 permission from the Planning Inspectorate for the installation of rustic play equipment at an area of the Common known as site 15a.  The equipment would be the same or similar to the equipment recently installed by the Parish Council on another part of the common.

A unanimous vote followed the presentation of a petition with in excess of 650 signatures supporting the recommendation, presented to the committee by Simone Tyson of Chorleywood Mums. The recommendation to seek planning permission, which was supported by the Parish Council, was moved by Cllr Martin Trevett who has been campaigning for improved play facilities for the children and families of Chorleywood for over 20 years.

Speaking at the meeting Cllr Trevett said “Three Rivers had commissioned ecological reports, a tree survey, and asked for the police’s view on site 15a. Their finding was that site 15a was of low ecological value, many of the trees on the site were either dead or dying, and the police view was that there were no insurmountable safe-guarding issues.  There is now a real chance that another generation of Chorleywood children would not grow up with inadequate play facilities”.

So what happens now?  Council officers in consultation with the Parish Council, the local schools, local children and parents groups will draw up detailed plans for submission to the Council's Planning Committee and the Planning Inspectorate, with installation expected by Autumn next year.  There is still the outside chance that a public enquiry might be held.  There has been some discussion on the number of objectors required to trigger a public enquiry and whether that number is 6, 60 or 600.  Any objection must give details of how the proposals would be detrimental to the Common.

Given the expert reports it is difficult to see how any objection could be relevant, and in fact with the Parish Council now having set a precedent, that argument recedes further. Note that site 15a is an area of unmaintained woodland and brambles almost adjacent to the entrance to the station car park bounded by the station car park fence, the railway fence and the service road into the station car park.

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