Merstham Recreation Ground refurbishment
Pages in Merstham Recreation Ground refurbishment
- 1. You are here: Merstham Rec - a park for everyone
- 2. Merstham Recreation Ground consultation
1. Merstham Rec - a park for everyone
The Council is investing £1.5 million to refurbish Merstham Recreation Ground, the park, located between Weldon Way and Albury Road.
We know Merstham Rec is an important open space for local people, as well as for people who live in other areas and use it, so, we want to make sure we deliver the improvements people want.
We want to enable more people to enjoy the open space and use its facilities, whether it’s to walk the dog, exercise, meet and relax or just enjoy the outdoors.
The plans focus on providing:
- play and fun
- access for all
- an asset for the community
- access to nature
- improved wellbeing
- ways to help people be active.
A planning application for the refurbishment was submitted in April 2022 and approved in April 2023 by the Planning Committtee. The planning application can be viewed on the planning application search, using reference 22/00685/F.
Consultation and engagement with residents, local groups, organisations and sports clubs since autumn 2020 has helped us to understand what you like and don’t like about the Rec and what you would like to see in the future. This helped us to shape the plans and update the initial designs.
The proposals include:
- a new pavilion with a café kiosk, toilets and changing rooms with solar panels and a green roof
- a new play area with equipment for children of all ages and abilities.
- a parkour course for over 12s and youth shelter
- an outdoor gym
- an improved network of paths for better accessibility and a new circular walking and fitness route
- a picnic area and community orchard
- new trees and landscaping
The new play area will feature a variety of equipment for climbing, sliding, swinging, balancing and being creative. It will also include natural elements and sensory opportunities to provide a fun and challenging play experience for children at different stages of development. It has been deigned to be inclusive and accessible, with the aim of achieving PIPA (Plan Inclusive Play Areas) accreditation.
The main facilities will be centrally located in a ‘green heart’ for users’ convenience and to retain plenty of open space for sports pitches.
Security of the space will be enhanced through the design of the scheme, with open views, lighting on the new pavilion and increased activity at the Rec.
You can read more in our news release from April 2022.
Update October 2022
The planning application has taken a bit longer than expected to be decided. This is because the project team has been asked to provide a range of additional information and surveys to statutory consultees (organisations we must consult) for them to take a view on the application.
Given the time that has elapsed, we want to provide an update on the work we have been doing on the project.
What are we working on?
Surrey County Council, the drainage authority, has requested additional detail on the drainage proposals. Details of the drainage measures, as well as flood and water storage calculations are being developed to demonstrate that the proposals do not increase flood risk and will, in fact, improve the drainage capacity of the Rec.
The proposals have an impact on the existing sport pitches and we are in discussions with Sport England about alternative provision, as well as reviewing the sports offer across the borough. A borough-wide playing pitch strategy is being developed and is expected to be finalised this Autumn.
The Rec is adjacent to an Area of Nature Conservation Interest. Surrey Wildlife Trust has requested additional surveys about protected species, including reptiles and great crested newts. These were completed in September 2022.
To move things along while this work takes place, the project team is preparing the documents for the competitive tender process needed to appoint a contractor to carry out the improvement works.
We hope to have planning permission and procure a contractor to deliver the works in the new year.
If planning permission is granted, we will develop the technical design, tender for the works and appoint a contractor to build out the scheme.
We hope to gain planning permission and procure a contractor to deliver the works in the new year. A timeline for the project will follow once a contractor has been appointed.
There are some other things that we would like to improve in the park which are currently outside the scope of our budget, such as the refurbishment of the tennis and ball courts, works to the water channel and a new trim trail. We are working work with local community groups to identify funding opportunities, such as through grants, so that we can progress these if possible.