04:00PM, Tuesday 14 March 2017
A wide-ranging assessment about which improvements and alterations should be made to the Alfred Major Recreation Ground will go ahead this year.
Cookham Parish Council has begun its strategic review into the green space, in High Road, Cookham Rise, and will spend this year putting together a plan for what could be changed before consulting residents.
Any changes made to the recreation ground would start next year.
The council chairman, Cllr Andrew Nye, hoped that by taking time to develop a comprehensive plan, the council would avoid ‘piecemeal’ developments of the past and ensure it had a ‘clear plan for the future’.
“This is a very valuable open green space in the heart of Cookham and we are lucky to have it,” he said.
“We should ensure it is managed properly and has something for everyone to enjoy, whether young or old.”
The review will look at the sport pitches, allotments, and ecology of the site, as well as how access onto the ground could be improved.
Cllr Nye was also keen for the study to examine the children’s play area, which ‘has equipment reaching the end of its usable life’.
Councillors will also be able to consider opening up the area to more events and activities.
“We have already taken some steps by ensuring that the land is registered by the parish council with the Land Registry, which had not happened previously.
“We have also looked at historic issues around some of the covenants on the site, which means that we may now be able to allow, on a case by case basis, more commercial activities such as a pop up tea shop or keepfit classes, and for allotment holders to have small sheds.”
However, Cllr Nye was keen to stress that changes would not be implemented any time soon.
“We are at very early stages, and the council will develop a plan this year and then ask residents for their views,” he said.
“Obviously this will also be subject to finding suitable funding to support any changes and getting planning approval if required, so it is likely that changes will occur over a number of years in a few phases.”
At a meeting on Tuesday, February 7, parish councillors agreed to continue the review throughout the year. No dates were set for future consultation or when updates will be delivered.
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