10/09/2020 - Permalink

Developer money helps to fund new Childs Ercall playground, and Broseley Birchmeadow Park improvements

Related topics: Economic growth / Partner organisations / Planning

Children and families are now able to use a new playground in Childs Ercall, and visit Broseleys’s Birchmeadow Park all-year-round, following the award of community infrastructure levy (CIL) funding – or developer contributions – from Shropshire Council.

The Childs Ercall playground project was awarded £40,000 of CIL funding, towards an overall cost of £65,000. Built to replace an older, unsafe playground, it will provide a safe focal point for the community and a place where families can meet and enjoy the outdoors and have fun.

The Broseley Birchmeadow Drainage Scheme received £73,900 towards a total project cost of £81,200. The work was essential as the previous drainage at Birchmeadow park had been deteriorating for many years, causing the park to become waterlogged and unusable.

Birchmeadow Park, Broseley

As local planning authority, Shropshire Council must ensure that new development is accompanied by the local facilities, services, and infrastructure needed to support a sustainable community. The council receives contributions from developers through CIL funding that can be used to help provide these facilities and services.

Gwilym Butler, Cabinet member for communities, place planning and regulatory services, said:

“I’m really pleased that we have been able to use CIL funding to support these important local projects, which were chosen after much careful consideration. While substantial sums are collected annually from developer contributions, including CIL and Section 106, these amounts are highly unlikely to be able to support all identified infrastructure improvements. It is therefore essential that this revenue is prioritised and used effectively for investment in infrastructure for which no other funding sources are available.”

Rob Gittins, Shropshire Councillor for Cheswardine, Childs Ercall, Hinstock and Sutton, said:

“The community in Childs Ercall have poured their heart and soul into the playground project over the past four years whether it be through fund raising, or just getting involved in the process. Everyone should feel really proud of all their hard work. This is a fantastic accomplishment by an energetic and thriving community, and I’m sure the playground will be enjoyed by many children for many years to come.”

Leonard Sambrook, Clerk to Childs Ercall Parish Council, said:

“Childs Ercall is an isolated village six miles from Market Drayton the only amenity for children was a playground built in 1996 which had been condemned by ROSPA as unsafe. As a result of this a project was launched to provide a new village playground. The Parish Council took on the task to fund-raise the money to build this village infrastructure. Money was raised through Parish Council support, local events, appeals to benefactors and charities and other sources of funds including Community Infrastructure Levy funding.”

Simon Harris, Shropshire Councillor for Broseley, and Broseley Town Councillor, said:

“Birchmeadow Park is a hugely popular open space with facilities including football and other sports pitches, children’s play area, BMX track and exercise trail. Usage of the park had increased significantly as a result of the adjacent Haycop Rise housing development which is almost adjacent to the park. The existing drainage system on the park had been deteriorating for many years to the extent that, during the winter of 2017/18, the football pitches were unusable for several months. In early 2018 the children’s play area was also waterlogged and unusable for several weeks and other events on the park have had to be cancelled or rearranged because of its condition. I’m delighted that the CIL funding means these problems are now in the past.”

As of 31 March 2020, Shropshire Council had collected over £36m of CIL funding across the County, and over £5 million of this has been passed to Town and Parish Council’s as Neighbourhood Fund to support projects in their areas.

In June 2020 Shropshire Council’s Cabinet also agreed to award over £8m to two projects – £5.95m to help increase primary school provision in Shrewsbury, and £2.2m to help unlock housing and development land close to Mile End Roundabout in Oswestry. Both projects are within the Shrewsbury and Oswestry Place Plans. See notes.

Further information

In June 2020 Shropshire Council awarded £5.95m of CIL funds to part-fund the provision of additional school places as part of three projects within Shrewsbury. These are:

  • increased primary provision in north Shrewsbury, centred on the Haughmond Federation of schools, with the proposal to re-locate Sundorne Nursery and Infant School to the Harlescott Junior School site on Featherbed Lane;
  • a new mainstream school in west Shrewsbury on a site in Bowbrook, which will be co-located with a new special school with the construction of the latter being funded by the Department for Education; and
  • additional secondary provision in the town, with the construction of a new 5 classroom teaching block at Meole Brace School.

In June 2020 Shropshire Council also awarded £2.2m if CIL funding towards the Mile End roundabout and Oswestry Innovation Park enabling project. This project will help unlock housing and employment land.