Community events day to mark start of Jubilee Green play park construction

Jubilee Green Community Events DayA day of community events is to be held on Monday 16th February (half-term) to mark the start of construction of the new play park on Jubilee Green.

Families and residents are invited to help plant trees and wildflowers at the Savages Wood Road site, while youngsters can help design the youth space/shelter that will form the focal point of the park.

Refreshments on the day will be provided by the Jubilee Youth Club and residents are invited to submit recipe suggestions in advance, so that the Youth Club can compile a shopping list.

The latest plans for the play park were exhibited at a public consultation meeting held on 7th January, attended by play advisor Michael Follett and landscape architect Alison Brown of South Gloucestershire Council (SGC).

Youngster on Play EquipmentThe first part of that meeting was a virtual re-run of a presentation given to the Safer & Stronger Community Group meeting in September 2008. This was followed by a question and answer session, after which attendees were given the chance to leave written replies to the “consultation”.

At that meeting, neighbours of the Jubilee Green expressed concern that the new park would be a magnet for anti-social behaviour, especially in the evenings, and called for it to be secured by a high fence, enabling the site to be closed off after dark.

Residents also said they feared the landscaping mounds in the new park would be used by BMX and motorised bikers and that newly planted trees would be destroyed by vandals.

The park’s designers said that it would be “impossible” to secure the site using fencing, adding that to do so would deter genuine visitors. They said that their brief did not include consideration of security or anti-social behaviour and that such matters would have to be dealt with by the police.

Neighbours of the Green recalled that there had been a history of anti-social behaviour at the site, with large gatherings of drunken youths and the associated noise and foul language. A bench installed on the Green by the Town Council was later removed because it became a focus for the unruly gatherings.

One resident claimed that an open (unsecured) play area would fail, due to the site’s history of anti-social behaviour, while another described the plans as a “recipe for vandalism”. A few others were more optimistic, calling on the community to “pull together to fight anti-social behaviour”.

The meeting was told that parts of the park may be completed by Easter, with an official opening planned for early June, to tie in with the Bradley Stoke Community Festival, which is traditionally held on the Green.

Construction of the park is being undertaken by SGC, but responsibility for maintenance will pass to Bradley Stoke Town Council after one year.

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The Journal Comments

Residents of the Jubilee Green are right to feel let down by the park’s planners and our local Councils. Given the history of anti-social behaviour and vandalism at the site, it seems unbelievable that the planners’ brief does not include these issues. With £110,000 being spent on the construction of the park, it seems unjust that no finance is being made available by the Councils to address the valid concerns of local residents. How about making some extra money available to fund a part-time park warden, extra police patrols and/or detached youth workers?

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