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Play Space - Procurement Consultation stage results

posted 10 Sept 2013, 11:43 by Unknown user
As per our previous posting Three Rivers District Council ran a consultation over the summer to further consult the local community on the type and location of the proposed Play Area. This was in addition to the consultation last year on the favoured location for a Play Space in Chorleywood where the overwhelming vote was for something on the common, and the Play Space advisory report even earlier last year on possible locations for a play area in Chorleywood.

Both Three Rivers District Council (as provider and maintainer of Play Spaces in the district) and Chorleywood Parish Council (landowner of The Common) have agreed based on previous consultation with the local community and subject to final approvals to install a play space on Chorleywood Common. This agreement by the Parish Council is subject to conditions and subsequent final approval by the Planning Inspectorate (this government department’s permission is required to build on Common Land).

Three Rivers commenced a procurement process earlier this year with a view to appoint a suitable company to design and install the play space in Chorleywood. The main pre-requisites for all play equipment companies was that the design must be in keeping with the natural surroundings, be constructed of mainly wooden material, will not include fencing (fencing cannot be included on Common Land) and be suitable for children and young people from 0 – 14 years. This is to ensure that the final design will be acceptable to the local community, both the Parish and District Councils but also to the Planning Inspectorate. Residents were also shown where the proposed play area would be sited on the Common and were asked to note that additional parking would not be provided as part of this project. Users of the play space will be expected to use existing parking or walk to the site. Proposals to encourage safe walking were also detailed as part of the consultation. 

Consultation Method 

A total of 4,400 letters and questionnaires were distributed alongside Chorleywood Parish Council’s newsletter in July 2013. The letter informed residents on how they could complete the survey for the proposed play space in Chorleywood. 3 methods of completing the survey were detailed including: 
  1. – the website included further information about the survey, images of the 4 proposed design options and a link to survey monkey in order to complete the survey online. 
  2. Complete the paper copy enclosed with the letter – residents could view the 4 proposed design options online at or in Chorleywood Library. Paper copies could then be returned to either: Three Rivers District Council offices (in Rickmansworth), Chorleywood Parish Council offices or in the survey box at Chorleywood library. 
  3. Visit Chorleywood library to view the 4 proposed design options and then complete the survey on the ‘touch screen’ computer device 

The consultation asked residents to: 
  1. Look at the 4 design options and let us know your order of preference with your first choice being your favourite and your fourth choice your least favourite 
  2. Do you have any other comments you would like to add? 

Three Rivers District Council also visited Chorleywood Primary School, Christchurch Primary School and Russell Primary to talk to children in Years 3 to Year 6. Children were also asked to vote on their preferred design options and to make any comments. 

The consultation period was for a total of 5 weeks, from Saturday 13 July – Friday 9 August 2013.

Consultation Results: 
  • A total of 492 Chorleywood residents completed the survey, which is an 11% response rate for Chorleywood households. The demographics of respondents can be seen in the full report
  • 89% of respondents lived within the Chorleywood parish (within WD3 5 and WD3 4 postcodes), with 7% from other WD3 (1, 3, 7 & 8) postcodes and 4% from other areas. 

Design Results: (to review the designs click here)
  • During the consultation process Jupiter Play unfortunately withdrew their design due to being unable to meet the budget effectively. 
  • First Choice - Option A – Eibe Play 
  • Second Choice - Option C – Timberplay 
  • Third Choice - Option D – Rubicon Play

Respondents left a wide variety of comments on their impression of the play area, and it's probably easier for readers to review the comments and make up their own mind. 

It's true to say that there are comments both in favour and against the proposed facility, and the main negative strand of comments is a concern over the location of the Play Area. However the overwhelming majority of comments are in favour, and as a Residents' Association we are supportive of the need for a new play area in Chorleywood.

The consultation results were due to discussed at a meeting of the Chorleywood Parish Council Open Spaces committee on the 10th September. However the paper has been withdrawn "pending further technical clarification" and we and others are trying to find out what this means to the approval process.