Work complete to transform play area in Coggeshall with upgraded equipment


Work has been completed to refurbish a village play area in Coggeshall, creating a new vibrant and safe place for local people to enjoy time outdoors.

The improvements were made to Coggeshall Fabians Park, located at the end of Fabians Close, from £36,000 of Section 106 contributions and additional funding support from Coggeshall Parish Council. The original equipment in the park dated back as far as 1970.

The first phase revamp, led by Coggeshall Parish Council, includes a new five-way swing, inground climbing frame with seating and movable hammocks. Workshops and focus groups were held by the parish council with local secondary and primary schools and residents to shape the improvements and understand their priorities.

Section 106 funding is financial contributions from housing developers of new developments to go towards new or improved community facilities. Section 106 funding is held by Braintree District Council as the local planning authority but is the responsibility of various authorities to deliver its spend. Parish and town councils play an important role in identifying local priorities for new or improved public open spaces, such as parks, allotments and sports facilities, as well as delivering the improvements themselves on land that they own.

The parish council hopes to secure funding in the future to make further improvements, including new planting, improved paths and adult exercise equipment.

Councillor Gabrielle Spray, Cabinet Member for Planning and Infrastructure at Braintree District Council, said: “The refurbishment of Coggeshall Fabians Park is yet another example of how our towns and villages can benefit from money secured from housing developments. I encourage residents to share where they would like to see new or improved open space facilities located with their local parish and town councils so this can be taken on board for future projects.

“Section 106 is a complex area of planning and the district council cannot control if and when Section 106 funding is spent by other authorities who have responsibility in certain areas like education, health and highways, but we continue to actively encourage this through various levels to ensure delivery of infrastructure improvements to benefit our communities.”

Cllr Jo Brindley, Parish Councillor at Coggeshall Parish Council, said: “We asked our young people what they wanted, we talked to the residents and together we found a way to make what was a forlorn play area into an exciting space with something for everyone to enjoy.”

Other projects funded by Section 106 on the horizon across the district include a skatepark refurbishment in Halstead, artificial grass pitches, the new Witham Community Centre, improvements along the Flitch Way in Braintree and replacing the boardwalk at Coggeshall Pieces in Halstead.

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