Wiltshire Publications

Community comes together to discuss Penleigh

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 at 10:00 am.

THE community surrounding Penleigh Park came together on Sunday 3rd June in a fun day to discuss how they can make the area more appealing to residents, with ideas such as a tea room  in the derelict pavilion and a splashpad.

Groups from Sovereign Housing Association, POPCAN (Penleigh and Oldfield Community Action Network), Westbury Town Council and Team 10, a group of young residents, set up a fun day for the people living near Penleigh Park to discuss what they would like to see happen to the derelict pavilion and open green space, to encourage more use by local people.

Currently, residents are using the space for family field games in the summer and the skatepark. However, ideas such as a tea room or cafe in the pavilion, a splash pad, miniature golf, toilets and changing facilities all came from local people who are very interested in creating a welcoming space in the area.

Tina Devereux, member of POPCAN told White Horse News, “We just want our voices to be heard and to do something with this neglected space. This is an area where people arguably may need more things to do than other areas, as there is a high number of families here.

“Considering this space actually has Village Green Status, you would think we would get some kind of funding to help, but it is an under-invested area and we are hoping to change that.”

As well as the introduction of new facilities, residents voiced their concerns about the lack of grass-cutting, the problems of litter, drugs and broken glass and the key issue of a lack of respect from people who use it and hope this will also be sorted.

Scott Jacobs-Lange, communities officer for Sovereign Housing Association, which owns and manages 124 homes in the Phoenix Rise area said, “We are keen to look at improving this recreation space and have been talking informally to Westbury Town Council, with residents from POPCAN  to possibly take over the pavilion but this hasn’t been formally approved and that part of the site remains in the ownership of Wiltshire Council, but we hope we can contribute to using this space in a positive way.

“Our priority is for people to actually use the space, it’s a great area and if people don’t use it then they will lose it and that would be a huge shame.”

During the day, there was a skateboarding, BMX and scooter demonstration on the skatepark facilities at the park, which is widely used by the Swindon-based group ATB Shop.

On the importance of having a skatepark facility member of ATB Dominic Etchells said, “A skate park is possibly the most important thing to have in a community like this. It’s free and anybody can use it. It keeps kids active and brings people together over a mutual hobby that wouldn’t necessarily come together otherwise, so people are very lucky to have it and hopefully the rest of the park will be just as great with these ideas put in place.”

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