Multi-Use Games Area
Some years ago a need was identified in the village for better facilities for young people. The new playground is excellent but there is little for use by teenagers.
The idea of a Multi-Use Games Area was proposed as a facility that would be great for use people of all ages in the village, though particularly good for young people.
Making a plan
The Parish Council ask for volunteers who would be interested in turning this idea into a workable set of plans. A group was formed, known as the Longstone Action Group. It is not a sub-committee of the Parish Council and has no decision making powers; their task was to come up with a set of proposals for the Parish Council.
The group looked at possible sites and discussed these with suppliers and planning officers. Their conclusion was that the best option was to place a new MUSA more or less over the current tennis court. The proposed new site is to be just 3 metres wider (20 metres instead of 17) and 5 metres longer (40 metres instead of 35 metres).
A survey of the village was carried out (see below for results) and this was followed by a well attended public meeting. As a result of feedback from residents living near the recreation ground the proposed site was moved slightly further way from the north boundary, than the current tennis court. This will allow more space for trees or hedging near the boundary of the field.
The recreation ground is around 4 acres in size and is in the heart of the village. It has belonged to the Parish Council since 1921 and has been extended on 2 occasions, in the mid 1950's and again in the early 1960's. Extensive development in the village over the past 50 years means that a field that was once on the edge of the community is now totally surrounded by housing.
Many of the residents who have bought homes that over look the recreation ground feel that it is not a suitable location for an updated sports facility and are keen that another site be located.
A door-to-door survey was organised by some of the residents and the reported findings were that whilst there was overwelming support, for the concept of the project, the majority of the people they interviewed felt it should be located somewhere else. More details of this survey are available here.
As no alternative options have been presented the Parish Council agreed in May 2013 to write to all local land owners to check to see if any other sites might be offered that would meet planning and financial contraints.
If a site can be agreed upon, either on the recreation ground or some other location, the project will still be dependent on planning permission and the on raising the initial capital funding.
Update following Parish Council Meeting on 12th June.
1. It was reported that no alternative sites so the Recreation Ground is currently the only option for the project.
2. As it is has not yet been possible to form a management committee that will be able to take the project forward, if a planning application was to be successful, the Parish Council agreed to put the project on hold. As considerable work has been put into preparing this application the documents will be archieved ready for use should interest in the project re-emerge.
Below are copies of documents prepared by the working party for the option they felt was most viable.