CALTHORPE PLAY PARK – A HIT AND A MISS
Ever since its installation, the play area at Calthorpe Park Field has been both a hit and a miss with local residents. The park itself appears to have been a big hit with local families with it becoming a popular location to visit and enjoy, it has however also brought a degree of anti social behaviour, something that was even acknowledged as a possibility before it was built.
Below: The new play park and acknowledgement that its creation would probably increase local unsocial behaviour.
The area was opened in September 2020, although it still required some fine tuning and finishing touches to turn the boggy field into a safe and welcoming area for local families. At the time of the building, local residents who lived near to the area expressed their reservations as other Fleet parks had already been the target of graffiti, anti social behaviour and were often left covered in rubbish after being used by older children in the area.
Sadly the park, built to attract children of all ages, soon began to suffer the same fate as other local play/exercise areas and began to develop a reputation for loud late night visitations and rubbish left strewn over the equipment and grass. This wasn’t helped by the lack of CCTV in the park, which despite having signs showing, was never completely installed and was listed as an individual project to be completed separately.
Below: CCTV warning signs were installed back in September 2020.
A recent meeting with Fleet Town Council though, has finally addressed these issues, with contractors attending the site to carry out repairs and deal with issues including excess water around the swing area. Portable CCTV cameras belonging to Fleet Town Council have also been installed, leaving only the main CCTV camera to be connected for central monitoring.
But will this be enough to calm angry residents who have sent a number of complaints regarding the play area to the council? FTC have said they will be working with the local Community Safety Officer to address such issues and are investigating possible options to help reduce noise levels in the area. With many park visitors parking in Merivale, there are upcoming plans to introduce local parking enforcement as Fleet Town Council work together with Hart District Council to introduce the measures. “Children Playing” signs are also being added to the area, which is a popular location to both Tavistock and All Saints Schools.
Hopefully the changes will help improve the local park for nearby residents as well as those using it.
Do you live near the park? Do you think these changes will be enough to improve the area?
Add your thoughts and comments below: