Section 106 money will fund playground upgrade in Ottery St Mary

Improvements at the Land of Canaan play area in Ottery St Mary have taken a step closer to completion as local children have chosen their favourite design. Although the winning design has not yet been approved by Ottery St Mary Town Council and is still to be deliberated by East Devon District Council, who release the funding, local children have had their say about what they want.

East Devon District Council and Ottery St Mary Town Council have been working closely together to spend £18,500 on improvements to the play area. This £18,500 has been contributed by developers through Section 106 funding for play, which is given by developers for every new home created in the town. The council chooses to involve the community in how it spends this money.

Children had a choice of three designs and voted for their favourite, with the winning option including a basket swing and a climbing frame/monkey bars piece of equipment. The designs were provided by companies in line with the children's design brief for the area.

The council came up with the design brief last year after visiting Ottery St Mary Primary School, The Kings School and Ottery Children’s Centre to find out what type of activities children wanted to be able to do in the play area. Of the 328 children who voted, 42% chose the winning design by Proludic.

The final voting took place in an assembly with Ottery St Mary Primary School, a special meeting for a selection of students at The Kings School and at an Ottery Children’s Centre session.

Cllr Iain Chubb, East Devon District Council's Cabinet Member for the Environment said:

A big thank you to all the children and young people in the town who have given their views on the type of equipment they wanted, and then voted on the resulting designs. As the young people are the ones who will be using this, we at East Devon District Council know it’s important that they get what they want.

Mayor of Ottery St Mary, Councillor Glyn Dobson said:

Ottery St Mary Town Council are excited that the well-used play park at the Land of Canaan is being revamped at a cost of over £18,000. Following consultation with our local youngsters they have selected a range of new equipment. A big thank you to all involved in this project and this just proves how councils working together can benefit the whole community.