Plymouth Central Park ‘the lung of Plymouth.’ I took a chance of joining one of the ‘walk ‘n talk’ consultations this week so here is what I learnt, and with the seventeen others gave feedback. A master plan was drawn up in 2013 showing improvements and was adopted in collaboration with stakeholders and park users, and with some tweaking through consultations which have just closed (well by 3rd June anyway), money has been allocated to make improvements over the next 12-18 months. Wow another project underway isn’t this amazing how Plymouth is developing or in this case consolidating, on so many fronts. Then there are Plymouth Argyle’s plans within the park, (entirely separate), to build a new grandstand which will justify their enhanced status in League 1. Talking of Argyle (and this is the last I’ll say on this subject), the sixth point in the masterplan was to resolve land drainage issues. It has always embarrassed me to see on match days fans walking up from the Barn Park Road end, in line a breast having to narrow to single file to evade the ponding and puddles all over the tarmac road leading into the park. The third point in the masterplan is to provide easy access. How wonderful if that could include one of Mackay’s original suggestions, and that is to extend access to the park from the city, by finding a convenient spot for a cycle and pedestrian bridge over the railway line? People could access the city centre without navigating any traffic at Pennycross roundabout and walking up the hill into the town. The new plans are to put down more sports pitches, and tennis courts whilst retaining the bowling pavilion with its well-maintained greens, and enthusiasts of this game, so traditional to the Drake tradition of this city. This would fulfil the fourth aim that of having quality outdoor sports, leisure and play facilities. The children’s playground it is suggested would be an ideal spot for a more permanent café, which would have the dual aim of improving facilities for walkers and Mum’s in the playground, but also if successful provide an income stream for more improvements to the park.
I’m pleased to note the fallen sign has been removed. Ron 16.08.17
There was no suggestion of doing away with the hut at the pitch & putt greens which provides drinks & snacks. These are suggestions which are not cast in stone. The bowling pavilion would be a feature to add changing facilities and become something of a sporting hub. The scrubland behind the pavilion would also be developed by building tennis courts, in conjunction with the Lawn Tennis Association (we are just getting back on our feet in international tennis, & we could play a part in developing grass roots tennis). There would be every intention of retaining the well-established Devon hedge which runs south from the Clock Tower (praise be its telling the correct time). For more information take a peek at the council web-site for Central Park Master-plan. Devonport Park has set a standard, with less sporting aims, but shows how well it can serve the community so let’s get behind Central Park improvements and contribute to it for the benefit of us all.
The photographs I’ve attached relate to the Barn Park end, and one shows the ponding mentioned earlier in the post.The other pictures indicate some improvements needed generally at the bottom end, which was not in fact taken in on our tour.