THERE was joy in Selkirk this week, as planners unanimously backed an application seeking consent for a new playground in the town’s Pringle Park.
The Selkirk Play Park Project team was granted full permission for the installation of equipment, landscaping and ancillary works at Monday’s meeting of Scottish Borders Council planning committee.
The equipment proposed for the £300,000 project includes a zip wire, slide, monkey bars and a large climbing structure.
Local authority planning officer Andrew Evans had recommended the application be approved.
Those behind the project have already raised £50,000 and will now seek to lodge a Big Lottery Fund application of £250,000, with the hope it will be endorsed in February.
Giving her reaction to the news of the planning committee’s decision, Margaret Sweetnam, chair of Selkirk Play Park Project team, pictured earlier this year with Ali Cullen, was delighted: “It is great news.
“The application to the Big Lottery Fund is submitted and we have handed them additional information which they requested,” she told TheSouthern.
“They are taking their time to go through it and we expect to hear back in February whether we have been successful.”
One local resident, Diana Murray, had written to SBC to praise the idea, but also brought up a number of concerns, including whether a safety barrier would be put in place, with Scott Crescent running alongside Pringle Park.
But writing to SBC, the project team said play areas will not be fenced, as research shows that fencing does not stop the problem of animal fouling or broken glass.
Mr Evans’ report outlined that the play area would be split into three sections.
The eastern circle will include the swings and monkey bars, the central circle a tractor tyre swing, rotating disc roundabout and large climbing frame, while the western circle would be aimed at younger children, with see-saw, slide, play hut and timber animals, including a flock of three wooden sheep.
New footpaths would also be formed linking each circle, with a skateboard ramps and seating along the walkways.
The plan will get a 10-year deed of dedication for the site in the park from the Common Good Fund Working Group if it scheme goes ahead.
Among the seven conditions Mr Evans has attached to his approval recommendation is an adjustment to the submitted drainage plan, in order to protect nearby lime trees.