Images of play equipment to offer examples of the type of playground equipment which could be installed on the site
Images of play equipment to offer examples of the type of playground equipment which could be installed on the site

Public consultation now closed

Thank you to everyone who completed the survey.

The results will be analysed by the Parish Council's Playpark Working Group and published on this webpage in due course. 

Word cloud in the shape of a child
Word cloud in the shape of a child

* What about land management e.g., grass cutting and leaf clearance?

If a play area goes ahead, the Parish Council would be responsible for this area. The Parish Council has other land management responsibilities within the Parish and therefore its contractor would attend the site fortnightly during the cutting season (March - October), as well as undertake leaf clearance in the autumn/winter. The Parish Council already manages the Lady Hope Playpark in Plaistow, and its contractor is experienced in maintaining play areas.

* What about rubbish collection?

If a play area goes ahead, the Parish Council would be responsible for this area. A litter bin would be installed. The Parish Council already contracts with Chichester District Council to manage public bins within the Parish e.g., at the Lady Hope Play Park in Plaistow. The Parish Council has experience managing public litter bins and would ensure that the type of bin installed minimises the risk of unwanted visitors e.g., foxes.

*What about dog fouling?

Dogs are prohibited from entering children's play areas. The Parish Council would install a sign to remind people of this standard rule. The area is currently open to the public with a bench; therefore, in its present situation, it is more likely to attract dog fouling as people can visit the area with their dog. Most people who use playgrounds understand that dogs are not permitted.

*The area is too small to host any worthwhile equipment for children

Carers with young children know that children find joy in the simplest things and in the most unlikely of places. The montage of images at the top of this page demonstrates the types of play equipment that this area could host. Young children will certainly enjoy using any of the illustrated items - especially if they have met up with a little friend. An indicative design can be found further below - this area has been considered by a playpark company and is confirmed big enough to host - by way of example only - a single baby swing, a hide and slide playhouse and a 4-child rocker. Therefore, depending upon the sizes of the most popular equipment selected as part of this consultation process, the site can host 3 - 4 items of play equipment. To put this into context, the Lady Hope Playpark in Plaistow has 8 items of equipment. Given the size difference between the two play areas, 3 - 4 items of play equipment at the Kelsey Hall would be very worthwhile.

The following article answers many more questions 

Newsletter information about the play area, page 1
Newsletter information about the play area, page 1
Newsletter information about the play area, page 2
Newsletter information about the play area, page 2

The project so far ...

The results of the June 2021 public consultation confirmed to the Parish Council that the demand for a children's play area in Ifold remains a live issue. The Parish Council was first made aware of the need when it began the Neighbourhood Planning process in 2013.Unfortunately, it is not within the Parish Council’s gift to purchase land in Ifold for the creation of public open space, owing to prohibitive land costs.

However, some 'outside the box' thinking led the Parish Council to write to the Kelsey Hall Management Committee (KHMC). The Kelsey Hall is a charitable village hall (charity# 281056) with its charitable objective to offer "...recreation and leisure-time occupation with the object of improving the conditions of life for [Ifold] inhabitants"; and, of course, children and their families make up a large proportion of Ifold residents.

The hall benefits from a sizable curtilage and is centrally positioned within Ifold to offer the community the desired play area, which would fall squarely within its charitable remit. The plot includes a modest sized grass area to the front, which is already partly fenced, and lends itself nicely to a few items of play equipment for young children. The area could also be accessed independently from Chalk Road, subject to permission from Ifold Estates Ltd (IEL).

Therefore, by working in partnership with the KHMC and IEL, the Parish Council can fund and managed a modest play area at the Kelsey Hall, thereby realising this longstanding community need.

Open Letter

In September 2021, the Parish Council wrote an open letter to the KHMC asking that they consider permitting the installation of a play area within the curtilage of Kelsey Hall.

Working in Partnership

On 13th October 2021, a representative of the KHMC attended the Parish Council's full meeting to discuss the project.

A play area at the Kelsey Hall was raised the hall's AGM and Committee meeting (04.10.2021). The proposal received comments both for and against, which were noted by the Committee. However, it was recognised that there is a strong demand for play equipment within Ifold and that Ifold families were not well represented at the AGM/Committee meeting. Nevertheless, the overall view was supportive.

Consequently, the KHMC gave their agreement in principle for a play area to be installed, subject to the following key conditions: -

• To avoid any impact to the carparking facilities (25 cars)

• To avoid any adverse impact on neighbouring properties

• To avoid any damage to existing trees

• Consideration regarding the entrance to the play area

The minutes of this meeting can be viewed here.

A Kelsey Hall representative was Co-opted onto the Council's Playpark Working Group, tasked to oversee project management.

Next steps 

The Parish Council made enquiries to ensure the area is, in fact, able to host play equipment. The following indicative design was created to demonstrate the area's capacity only - for example, it can only host 1 baby swing: - 

With confirmation that the area is able to host 3-4 small items of play equipment, for primarily pre-school aged children (5 years and under - although, subject to the types of equipment chosen, the area's appeal may extend to children up to the age of 7/8 years of age) the Working Group held a site meeting on 13th July 2022.

The Parish Council and KHMC have agreed as follows: -

- The trees and bench should be retained in situ.

- No existing parking spaces should be compromised.

- The access would need to be from Chalk Road/Apron to carpark for the safety of both children and hall users.

- All health, safety, risk, maintenance, insurance, access and management requirements are met by the Parish Council to the satisfaction of the KHMC.

- The Parish Council organises signage at the playground to explain that it is under their management and that the sign clearly states who to contact should anyone have anysafety concerns, the age range of children who can use the equipment and the openinghours.

- The area remains a viable fire assembly point for hall users.

The Parish Council met with IEL on 11th October 2022 to discuss access to the area directly from Chalk Road. IEL members expressed their concerns regarding the impact of a children's play area on the hall's neighbours and the general need for play equipment in Ifold. They advised that they would reserve granting permission to access the site, across the grass verge, until the Parish Council had concluded its public consultation process.  

Details of the proposed access to the new play area at Kelsey Hall
Details of the proposed access to the new play area at Kelsey Hall

The public consultation is being launched in the Parish Council's Winter Newsletter. Ifold residents will receive specific notice of this consultation process and be invited to participate.

KHMC have confirmed that the play area does not conflict with their insurance. The Parish Council has put its insurance company's legal department on notice regarding the drafting of the lease between the KHMC and the Parish Council for the use of the land as a play area.

This page will be further updated upon the completion of the public consultation (31.01.2023), and once the results areavailable.

If you have any questions about this, or any other matter of the Parish Council, please do contact the Clerk: