Update- MUGA , Table Tennis and Access gate and path

You might be thinking that Onchan Park looks unchanged compared to this time last year. Here is a quick update about what has been going on behind the scenes.

Update: what have we done already?

We set up a survey to ask people what they wanted to see on the park in 2016. The results of this and our petition showed that local people were passionate about saving the park and pavilion and that they wanted to see a community hub and refurbished facilities. You can still read all the reasons the people wanted to save the park at the Change.org website.  At the Summer Fun Day in 2017 we asked people to vote on which facility they would like to see developed first, the overwhelming winner was the Multi-Use-Games-Area or MUGA. Have a look at our plans from back in August 2017.

During 2017 and 2018 the Friends of Onchan Park have acted on this information and have held several meetings with parks development officers at Gedling Borough Council to put together a specification document. We have also met with several different contractors on site to assist them in putting together a quotation for the work that needs to be done.

As a result of all this work we have information from the community showing the need to redevelop the MUGA, install table tennis tables and provide a new pedestrian gate and access path. We have a specification and plan drawings that allowed us to get four quotes from contractors.

What are the next steps?

The next steps will be to secure funding for this project and consultation with local residents is a big part of this process. We discussed this at our last public meeting in May 2018, the minutes are here if you want to read them. If you live within sight of Onchan Park, we will be visiting you soon to talk about our plans with you. Once we know that everyone is happy with the plans then we can start applying for funding from WREN, Sport England or one of the National Lottery Charities. Once funding has been secured, we can work with the Council to award the contract to the successful bidder.

We are aiming to be awarded funds to be able to transform the MUGA, install table tennis tables and a new pedestrian gate and access path for pushchairs and wheelchairs. We also want to keep the park’s neighbours happy and we can change our plans to ensure that this happens. Above all we want to create a park that we can be proud of that is used by lots of different people to enjoy being in nature and getting active.

We hope that this little update will help you to understand everything that is going on with the park. Everyone is welcome to come along to the public meetings or to offer help with events or activities at the committee meetings.

6 Responses to Update- MUGA , Table Tennis and Access gate and path

  1. Jonathan Pickett says:

    The access gate needs re-consideration. Myself and other residents (most affected by this part of the proposals) feel that this has been a side issue of the plans and many have not fully realised the implications.
    We are all supportive of the overall objectives and improvements but this access on Onchan Avenue has not been properly thought through with the residents on this side of the park who frequently have issues with cars parked on this narrow road where access is increasingly difficult. We would very much like better and more full communication with us on this issue, please.

  2. Alison Pritchard says:

    The local residents have been the first to be consulted on all matters, which is why our volunteers took the time to visit every house surrounding the park and talk to residents. At this stage there is nothing new to communicate and we have a long way to go to secure funding for any improvements, however we are getting closer. We can only reiterate what we have said previously, that all views will be taken into consideration.
    Please come to our meetings to share your concerns. Unfortunately the site makes access for any wheeled users practically impossible. We would be interested to hear any alternative proposals you have for the disabled access. Any time volunteered is always welcome.

  3. J Pickett says:

    I am sorry to have missed your reply but I must take issue with the issue of communication. My house was missed off completely with the last survey and I was only informed by a neighbour. The only communication I have had was around 18 months or more ago when two people came to our house and I expressed my disapproval for the disabled access entry gate. Any public meetings do not seem to be well publicised as I rarely if ever get notification of them. Plans for the park may seem a good idea but ever since the park lost its full time park keeper the condition and abuse of the park has increased. Most youths gain access from our road, so the residents most affected will be us not anyone else in the vicinity.

    • Maria Robinson says:

      I can confirm that all the residents were visited, some multiple times, to secure a response to our questions by our volunteer committee members. This survey took place in spring 2019. We have recorded your response and we have highlighted the issues you raised with the GBC officers. We have invited you to committee meetings and the AGM was publicised on our website, facebook, twitter and via email to our mailing list. There have been no other public meetings in 2019, so you haven’t missed one. If you’d like to be on our mailing list, then please use the “contact us” page to let us have your current email address.
      The idea is that if Onchan Park has a fully accessible gate and paths, then everyone will be able to enter and use the park. We are aware that with the current set up some people climb over the vehicle access gate. This is problematic in many ways – it’s not safe to attempt this and only some people are able and willing to do this. A proper pedestrian path allowing access for all will encourage people of all ages and abilities into the park, not just “youths”.

  4. Jonathan Pickett says:

    I’m not sure where you live or how much you are aware of the ‘abuse’ this park gets particularly overnight within and around the former bowls hut and the tennis court.

    An entranceway on Onchan Avenue will only increase the inconsiderate parking that we have suffered ever since we have lived here, with complete disregard to our own access to and from our properties. Those who live on the other side or along Onchan Drive do not have any of this inconvenience so it is all too easy to recommend improved access and additional facilities as these will not impact on anyone else.

    The park has suffered ever since the council removed a park keeper. I applaud the wish for extra facilities and to improve on the shambles that is the ‘football court’ but the new disabled access is scheduled for the wrong location on the wrong side of the park. Residents at No 5 and No 3 will be the ones to suffer. Put an entrance gate in and everyone parks as close to it as possible, as they won’t walk 20 yards.

    I have looked in vain for any official planning applications or full planning proposals and certainly no planning notice has been displayed in the appropriate location as it should have done so.

    • Maria Robinson says:

      I live on Onchan drive, and I am fully aware of the anti-social behaviour of a small minority who visit the park overnight. You may have seen me or other members of friends of Onchan Park sweeping the glass from the road and pavement at the bottom of Onchan Avenue/ Onchan Drive. In fact a number of our team have on occasion cleaned up the roads around the park and we have all been involved in regular clean up sessions on the park. This is one area that will benefit from regeneration of the park as research shows derelict spaces attract anti social behaviour.

      Regarding your concerns over parking; from my property, I look along the full length of Onchan Avenue and over the year, have spent much time in lockdown working from home with full view of Onchan Avenue and the cars parked there. The majority of cars park at the bottom of Onchan Avenue on the corner opposite the park entrance. I agree that since the park keeper has gone the park has certainly suffered however parking has most definitely eased on Onchan Avenue as the bowling green hasn’t been used for around a decade. When the bowlers were parking around the park I witnessed several confrontations over parking.

      It is illegal to block a driveway and if you are experiencing this I suggest you report it to Highways dept or community officers.

      As you say, you have suffered from parking issues ever since you lived there. Whilst there are many bonuses to choosing to live opposite a park, one of the drawbacks is that people are more likely to park on the roads in the vicinity. The plans to improve the park do not affect that.

      GBC parks department have considered all options for the new entrance and this is the only space that could provide disabled access to the park due to the lay of the land.

      Before lockdown in 2020, you were invited to meetings about the park to discuss your concerns. The plans for the park were discussed at those meetings, I don’t believe applications have been required for the renovations. If you now wish to raise concerns please direct them to the parks department at Gedling Borough Council.
      Friends of Onchan Park

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