Parents in Swindon want a new playpark being planned in at the popular Coate Water to be “the best in class” and accessible to all children, with or without disabilities.

More than 1,100 people responded to Swindon Borough Council’s appeal for their views on the new park it is planning to build on a patch of green just behind the splash facility.
And it’s clear they want something really good.

The borough council has released a selection of the responses it has received.

One said: “Can we have a good range of equipment for all ages please?” and another wanted the council “to make sure it’s available to every child, with or without disabilities.”

The natural setting of the new park, with the lake just yards away and woods directly behind, influenced some respondents to ask the council to play up nature and the environment.

One said: “Incorporate nature and environment features relevant to Coate Water for fun and education” and another asked for something similar to the play area in Angel Ridge.

That playground on the site of the old Princess Margaret Hospital off Withering Road in the Okus development of Old Town features natural features such as large stone installations, a spinning ‘Sarsen stone’, wooden bridges and wobbling sheep as well as water features and dams.

It's likely most respondents would agree with one who wanted something really special to be built for the children of the town. They asked for: “Something that will entertain children time and time again. It needs to be best in class and a real talking point of the community.

"It also needs to be robust with plenty of seating for the grown-ups to relax. Not that I’ve ever seen this, but can a section be covered so it remains appealing even on those rainy days or days when the sun is so hot you could fry an egg on the slide?”

The job of going through the responses and working out what the park should look like and what equipment is should include now falls to the council’s cabinet member for leisure Robert Jandy and his team of officers. 

Coun Jandy said he was happy to get so many views, adding: “We’re pleased to see such a good response to the Coate Water play area survey and I want to say a big thank you to the 1,117 people who took the time to share their views.

“Now we’re going to go away, see what the people want and try and implement that as best as we can.

“We want this play area to be one of the best in Swindon. And we want to make sure it’s inclusive and accessible to everybody.”

It is hoped the new park could be open by next May in time for the summer holidays.