£45,000 project to revamp kids’ play ground

Children on the Whitemoor Estate in Belper could soon be playing on more than £45,000 worth of new equipment, if councillors give the go ahead.

Youngsters living near Whitemoor Recreational Ground will benefit from the improvements by October if Amber Valley Borough Council rubber stamps the proposals at a meeting next Wednesday (January 29).

The money for the project came from funds donated by Peveril Homes and Derwent Living as part of their permission for building 28 houses off Nailers Way.

The development was approved on appeal by the Government’s planning inspectorate in 2010 despite Amber Valley councillors having expressed concern the development would be on a greenfield site.

Now, cash which Peveril and Derwent donated for a community project as part of an agreement with the council for going ahead with the development canbe used on the play area.

Belper town councillor Jackie Cox, whose ward borders the site said: “There are a lot of children that use that area and I think it will benefit a lot of people. There is a large estate nearby and Belper is a growing population so I think this will be put to good use.”

Council officers recommended the park plans for approval in a report to the authority’s cabinet.

A report by landscape development nanager Sharon Thomas said: “Officers recommend that the full £45,795 of the Nailer’s Way funding be spent at Whitemoor Recreational Ground play area, as the life expectancy of the existing play equipment is five to 10 years and is in a community park setting and has a larger user catchment area.”

The money came from a Section 106 agreement between the council and developer - which allows for local planning authorities and persons interested in land to agree contributions, arrangements and restrictions as part of planning agreements.

The report continued: “This project will bring both these play areas up to an acceptable standard, improving play value for users.”

It added: “Use of these deposits to finance the expenditure will result in a loss of investment interest to the Council, which will be offset by an equivalent amount that no longer needs to be credited to the deposit at year-end; the amounts in question are estimated to be approximately £300.”

The proposals will be considered at the same time as a £36,000 upgrade at a play area in Swanwick.