Payley Park Playground Now Open

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Pupils from Years 3 and 4 at St Cecilia’s Church of England Primary School were thrilled to be among the first users of a new community playground in North Wokingham.

Payley Park Playground in Wokingham

The facility at Payley Park, off Queens Road and Howlett Grove, has been opened by the council to serve everyone in the growing new community being built around it.

The Mayor of Wokingham Borough Cllr Beth Rowland cut the ribbon at a ceremony on Monday, 16 October, which was also attended by a small number of residents and their younger children.

Also present were representatives from housing developer Vistry, who funded and built the playground under conditions linked to their planning permissions for new homes in this area.

Fun for small and bigger kids

The playground, built by Vistry’s contractor PFL Group, boasts equipment aimed at all ages including traditional and “nest” swings, rocking seats on springs, rotating seats and a ship with a small slide.

Older children can enjoy a rope climbing frame, a larger slide, balance course and a zip wire as well as a multi-use games area suitable for football, basketball and more.

Richard Thomas, head of school at St Cecilia’s, said: “The children had a wonderful morning meeting the Mayor and playing on the new equipment – I’m sure it will continue to be well used, especially after they’ve told all their friends.

“They were so proud to be the first to try it and we’re delighted to have this exciting new amenity right on our doorstep.”

Working together for everyone’s benefit

Borough Mayor Cllr Rowland said: “It was a pleasure to open this playground and to meet the children from St Cecilia’s, as well as residents from the wider North Wokingham community.

“The pupils were clearly loving every minute and were so well behaved despite being incredibly excited, so they truly were a credit to their school.”

Cllr Lindsay Ferris, executive member for planning and local plan, said: “We’re pleased to have worked in partnership with Vistry to provide this excellent facility and equally pleased that it’s been so well received.

“We understand the importance of providing high quality, developer-funded infrastructure to serve the new housing that we’re required to build, and can assure residents that we’ll continue this approach as we look to meet the challenges of years to come.”

Alix Laflin, marketing manager for Vistry Thames Valley, said: “Providing places for children to play and everyone to enjoy the outdoors and get active is an important and integral aspect of providing new homes.

“This play area lies at the heart of our plans for this new neighbourhood in Wokingham, and I think everyone who attended the opening was impressed with the facilities we’ve provided here for residents of this location and the wider area.”

Vibrant communities to live, work and play

The new housing at North Wokingham is one of four major new communities allocated in the council’s local plan, a document it is required to produce to meet both local housing need and Government requirements.

Vistry also built the nearby Co-op food store and provided land for the school as well as primary education funding. The school site will house a community building once the council has weighed up all possible uses for it.

Developers either funded or built over 35 hectares of nature parks at Old Forest Meadows, Ashridge Meadows, Kentwood Meadows and Keephatch Meadows plus the two community allotment sites off Diamond Jubilee Way and at Twyford, several other playgrounds and the North Wokingham Distributor Road, which has shared footways and cycleways along its length and was accompanied by more than 2,000 new trees.

A fifth nature park linking Ashridge Meadows and Kentwood Meadows is still being built and, when opened, will create a continuous green stretch along the south of the A329(M).