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New playgrounds and interactive maze set for Dagenham’s Central Park

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 July 2020

Central Park - which already features a pitch and putt venue - is set to get new attractions for visitors after the upgrade was approved by councillors. Picture: Paul Bennett

Central Park - which already features a pitch and putt venue - is set to get new attractions for visitors after the upgrade was approved by councillors. Picture: Paul Bennett

Archant

Plans to create two new playgrounds, an interactive maze and nature areas in Central Park have been approved by Barking and Dagenham Council.

Councillors gave the green light to the redevelopment, which would also feature a grass ampitheatre, new paths and space for public art, during a planning committee meeting on Monday, July 6.

Existing football and rugby pitches and tennis courts at the Rainham Road North park are also set to get an upgrade.

The new facilities would include a toddler’s playground and an adventure playground for older children, while the application included no changes to the existing car parking arrangements.

Land levels in parts of the 48 hectare park are to increase or decrease, with councillors told this would be done using 238,000 cubic metres of imported Environment Agency-approved materials.

The virtual meeting heard from Jon Brennan, who described himself as an “infrequent visitor” to the park he lives near prior to the pandemic - in part due to the amount of litter.

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He said: “Since March, Central Park has, for me, become a saviour of my mental health.

“The redevelopment offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to positively change Central Park, which I wholeheartedly support.”

He described the proposals as “exciting”, but added: “There are definitely things that must be considered if we to fully reap the benefits.”

He called for more bins to be installed in a bid to reduce littering, as well as for electric vehicle (EV) charging points to be introduced in the car parks.

Council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell, in a message read out by the meeting’s chairman Cllr Muhammad Saleem, said: “I will be making a policy update that all park car parks will provide EV for residents.”

Cllr Irma Freeborn said that she “loved the idea of a maze” but questioned whether there would be enough bins for dog walkers, while Cllr Cameron Geddes called the application “extremely welcome”.

There was no discussion about how much it would cost to redevelop the council-owned park.

The application was unanimously approved, subject to any further direction from the mayor of London.


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