Greens Welcome Residents' Input To Staddlestones Riverside Park Upgrades in Midsomer Norton

5 April 2024

After feedback from public consultation, Staddlestones Riverside Park in Midsomer Norton is set for a facelift, with plans now including an accessible swing, extra seating, and a boules pitch.

These proposed improvements stem from the Somer Valley Rediscovered project, aimed at boosting local wellbeing by nurturing the bond between residents and green spaces, alongside enhancing biodiversity.

Engaging the local community in discussions about the park's evolution and management, the consultation yielded over 300 comments, including 86 survey responses and input from attendees of a park event.

Priorities identified by respondents centred on footpath upgrades, increased seating, and the introduction of more trees and meadows. Consequently, the revamped plans outline new pathways, a dry circuit around the park, additional benches, enhanced greenery, and the creation of meadow zones in the northern field to bolster biodiversity.

Green Party councillor for Radstock, Dom Tristram, is pleased with the consultation's role in shaping the revised plan. Dom said, "The proposed changes aim to enhance visitor accessibility and encourage local community engagement with nature. It’s vital that the views of people who use the park are listened to because ultimately these changes have to work for them. In this time of ever decreasing budgets for non-essential services we need to make sure that every pound spent on our green spaces is used well, and part of that is making them accessible to as many people as possible.”

Plans to completely remove park entrances were scrapped post-feedback. Instead, they'll be replaced with a lockable bollard at the north entrance and a chicane with removable panels to the south. These adjustments aim to improve access for prams, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters, while also addressing concerns about children and pets ‘escaping.'

The football pitch will be replaced by smaller goals for casual games, expanding open grassland, and creating a new boules pitch.

While funding limitations preclude upgrades to the play area, the council's Parks Service will install an accessible swing to replace existing swings.

The finalised master plan and detailed improvement proposals are available on the Somer Valley Rediscovered website.

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