Improvements planned for south Lowestoft play area

PLANS are afoot to revamp a rundown area of south Lowestoft and provide it with better places for children to play.

Talks between Waveney District Council officials, councillors, residents of Whitton and Kirkley and the Whitton Life community project took place during a 'positive' meeting.

And now hopes are high that improvements to Whitton Green will be made before long.

Grants to install toddler play equip- ment at Whitton Green have been discussed as efforts are made to smarten up the area.

Plans to tap into an Environmental Fund that is available for council housing areas are on the agenda.

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And now Whitton ward councillors Tod Sullivan and Nick Webb, who were at the meeting last week, have teamed up with local people and representatives of the Whitton Life charity to push for a brighter future.

'I think this is a really big project in Whitton, which we've been pushing for since the late summer, and it does look very much like we can make it happen quickly and fairly easily, given the funding pots available,' Mr Sullivan said,

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'Whitton as a ward has some extremely difficult challenges and remains an area blighted by high unemployment, crime and other social issues.

'We met at Whitton Life because it has been an amazing community resource which has emerged in the past few years and has been a real example of what is now known as the Big Society, where people come together to make a real difference.

'It is also based in Whitton Green, which is a prime example of an area which could be a fantastic focal point for the community and an area for young people to be proud of but which, in its current state, looks and feels very rundown, with the exception of Whitton Life.'

Mr Sullivan added: 'Our hope is to move the toddlers' play area from Britten Road to Whitton Green with much better play equipment, a safe playing surface and with efforts made to make the play area and the surrounds much brighter and more attractive.

'The great news is that we believe that most of the funding can come from existing areas and that it can be done in a cost effective and really inclusive way.'

The potential ideas discussed to improve the Whitton Green area were as follows: Removing the hedging that hinders natural surveillance into the area from the road; Removing the inner secondary fence and increasing the accessible community space; Remove the 0-5 year olds' provision at Britten Road and installing new provision into the centre of Whitton Green between the two MUSAs (Multi Use Sports Areas) - essentially, moving the focussed provision for toddlers to Whitton Green; Looking into the possibility of moving the MUSA provision to the Britten Road site in order to concentrate the older provision in the larger park offering a full MUSA pitch.

'The ideas are all being considered with a view to creating a more family-friendly, community environment at Whitton Green, whilst increasing the quality of play provision in the area with links to Britten Road,' a Waveney District Council spokesman said.

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