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

Thank you to everyone who completed the survey, which ran between December 2022 - 31st January 2023.

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

You can view the survey results here

Questions 2, 12 and 14 invited written responses ... 

Survey overview

• Delivered to 500 houses in Ifold

• 96 responses

• 19.2% response rate

• Overall conclusion – respondents were in favour of the idea (77.1%)

Q: Is this a good response rate?


“The average response rate for external surveys at 10-15%” (SmartSurvey)

“Survey response rates in the 5% to 30% range are far more typical” (Customer Thermometer)

A 19.2% response rate can be considered a typical, confident return, which can be trusted to take the project forward.

Addressing concerns

The Parish Council agrees that discussion should focus on the concerns raised by those who are not in favour of a play area at the Kelsey Hall. 

Although it is impossible to please everyone, it is important to address (as far as possible) the concerns of those with reservations, to prevent the play area becoming a contentious area for some residents.

The ‘areas of concerns’ borne out of the answers to questions 2 and 14 of the survey (here) have been condensed into 13 recurring issues: -  

Parking / size / appeal / cost / dog fouling / maintenance / litter / antisocial behaviour / noise / garden size / trees / loss of use of area / house prices

The following document addresses each of these issues and provides an explanation as to how the issue will be managed / dealt with.

Next Steps

The Parish Council will continue to work in partnership with the Kelsey Hall Management Committee and Ifold Estates Ltd to progress the project. 

In September 2023, Ifold Estates Ltd kindly hand delivered 20 letters from the Council to the direct neighbours of the Hall, to provide another opportunity for their views to be heard.

Currently, a lease for the land is being prepared by Solicitors.

Several play equipment companies will be invited to design the area  / tender for the project. The Parish Council will conduct further public consultation to determine which design is preferred by the community before any contract is awarded. 

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.

Design ideas 

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: clerk@plaistowandifold-pc.gov.uk