Play Area Working Party Update

Dear residents,


Earlier this year, the HPC Chairman decided to form a Working Party consisting of three HPC representatives and two local residents. The Working Party remit is to investigate possible locations of a second play area, consult residents via a questionnaire on whether a second play area is required, and if it is, where it should be located. 


Contrary to what has been purported on Facebook/ in the anonymous letter sent to several residents in the Manor Field’s vicinity, the purpose of the Working Party (and the HPC) is not to just solely look at the Manor Field, as the only possibility of suitable location, for a proposed second play area. 


There is very little green space in the village which can lend itself (suitable size and safe location) to be considered as a location for a play area. The Working Party have made a great effort to investigate and discuss the ‘for’ and ‘against’ for each of these identified areas. However, it is not the decision of either the Working Party, nor the HPC, where the play area is to be located, and it is the residents who will decide where they would like the second play area to be located by completing the referendum questionnaire.


Further to this, any location, which is eventually chosen by the residents, will be subject to planning consent and availability of funding, DBC liaison, design, procurement, project management, safety and maintenance to name a few; I can’t stress this strongly enough, but the final location will be decided following the correct processes, not by the Working Party/ HPC.


The first tranche of 106 money is now available to the village, and although a significant sum of money, it is insufficient to build a play area. The final two tranches of 106 funding are dependent on Millers building and selling a set number of homes. So, if the play area were to be built soon, alternative funding streams may have to be investigated and subsequently applied for. 


There are two covenants on the Manor Field, and the decision to allow any development, of the Manor Field, would have to be passed by Darlington Borough Council Planning department. A planning application would be dependent on a positive outcome from the referendum. Currently the Working Party is unaware of any other restrictions, other than suitability (safety/ size), on any of the other green areas/ open spaces within the village. These would have to be fully investigated, should one of these areas be chosen from the result of the referendum. We would welcome any feedback on this if you are aware of any restrictions affecting these areas.


Also, a referendum specific to a second play area has never been put to the entire village (Hurworth and Hurworth Place). A second play area would be a community facility and the HPC believes this should be a community decision.


Work is currently well under way on the referendum questionnaire and will be delivered to all homes as soon as it is ready. Further to this, more detail supporting the referendum (e.g. details and a map of the green areas/ open spaces/ what other information is available from DBC) will be made available on this website to support the eventual questionnaire ahead of the questionnaire being delivered.


Any effort on a second play area will not be to the detriment of improvements required with the Grange play area. Hurworth Parks and Recreation are, and will be, continuing to push this project forward irrelevant of the outcome of the questionnaire. 


Yours faithfully,


Cllr Lynn Wylie – Play Area Working Party Chairman