Why is Baileys Court’s New Play Area redevelopment works getting delayed?
BSTC - 4th August 2021
The Baileys Court Activity Centre Play Area has been one of the most popular play areas in the town. After very well used for over 26 years, some parts of the play area have now become weary and need a makeover.
The good news is that Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC) decided to completely redevelop the play area, aiming to provide the community with an exciting and inclusive new play space for families and children. The young people and parents shown much interest in the redevelopment plan.
The estimated total cost of the redevelopment project is £105,000.00, which will be funded by the Town Council and two external funding sources. The Town Council was able to secure £30,000.00 from Enovert Community Trust and £14,195.00 from Ibstock Enovert Trust, leaving the remaining balance of £66,805.00 to be covered by the Town Council Reserves, which has been possible following many years of careful financial planning.
The invitation to tender was advertised in April this year and the Town Council was overwhelmed with designs and quotations from nine companies, who all have proven credentials across the UK. After the close of tenders, the councillors and council officers met on May 18th to open the tenders. Councillors Tom Aditya, Dr Ed He, Brian Hopkinson, Angela Morey and Andy Ward, along with Town Clerk Sharon Petela and Deputy Clerk Del McIntosh assessed all tenders and designs and then awarded points using the criteria matrix previously agreed at the Finance Committee.
Two companies were remarkably close in the awarding process and after much discussion, it was agreed to recommend the design submitted by ‘Kompan’, which is a well-reputed company with a track record of over 40 years in developing high-quality playground and fitness equipment. Testimonials show that their play areas keep children occupied, excited, and stimulated. The Town Council meeting on 26th May 2021 formally agreed to award the contract to Kompan.
After the council agreed on the plan, BSTC officers liaised with Kompan to examine their terms of the contract and the quality of materials, and then signed the contract with Kompan by the end of June. Normally, there is no need for planning permission to redevelop a like-to-like play area. However, the Kompan’s design that won the contract got some extra features on top of the current play area, and the need for a planning permission came up. BSTC initially planned to start and finish the work during school summer holidays. But considering the long-term best interests of the town and to ensure the proposed play area will give young people a high standard of play opportunities, the Council changed the time scale and took the planning permission route.
Once BSTC officers realised that planning permission is required, they were doing everything they could do to make the process smoothly and efficiently. They securely included planning application costs in the project. The contractor was entrusted with the task of drafting the planning application, 2D and 3D designs, and the health and safety aspects of the build. BSTC also included a tree survey of the area to enhance the application. These tasks themselves took 4 to 5 weeks’ time in the current situation.
Bradley Stoke Town Council is working efficaciously with the contractor on the project. Today, 3rd of August 2021, the BSTC office received the draft application and designs from the contractor. Currently, officers are scrutinizing the designs and they are in the process of submitting the application to the planning authority. The application will follow the usual consultation period, which is 21 days.
Bailey Court Play area is currently open for public use and children are enjoying it substantially since it is the summer holidays. Bradley Stoke Town Council doesn’t wish to spoil their small bit of fun, and start any piecemeal work there at this time of the year. Also, the play area redevelopment cannot be carried out piecemeal, because of the interlinking nature of the work.
The new play area will be equipped with the biggest slide in South Gloucestershire, a mega tower, wobbly bridge, carousel, swings, triple somersault bars, spicas, and other pieces of play equipment offering 40 play features and catering to almost 75 children at a time. The resulting scheme will give Bradley Stoke a high-quality play area with some unique facilities. All the play equipment and gadgets are bespoke and made to order, which will include the safety surface. It also comes with almost 30-years guarantee.
The new play area works are anticipated to take place as soon as the planning permission is granted by the planning authority. It is anticipated that the project will commence its work later this year, probably by autumn. The town council will update the residents, when there is news on the start date.
Bradley Stoke Town Council solicit everyone’s support for this project.
Councillor Tom Aditya
BSTC Press Spokesperson and Finance Committee Chairman
BSTC Activity Centres Manager/ Deputy Town Clerk