VALE Council plans to renovate a Penarth playground into an outdoor fitness facility have been met with opposition from local residents.
Concerned residents say that the proposals for fitness equipment and a skate park at the Paget Road play area don’t cater for children under the age of eight, and that the park should maintain more traditional facilities like swings and slides.
It comes after the Vale Council announced that plans to refurbish the nearly 20-year-old facilities at the play area would begin early next year.
The plans will see an upgrade of the existing play area and a range of new facilities added including fitness equipment, a multi-sport court and a skate area.
The overall aim of the project is to provide a modern, high quality play environment in a safe and controlled setting that can be enjoyed by all ages of the community.
Funds generated by the nearby Penarth Heights development will cover the cost of the renovation work that aims to give the park “a new lease of life”.
But local residents have likened the proposals to the outdoor gym on the Cardiff Bay barrage and said that they don’t cater for children under the age of eight.
Lindsey Barrett, who has been taking her children to the playground for 18 years, said that she didn’t think the proposals catered for young children: “It will be a teenagers paradise but it won’t cater for the under eight’s.
“I know they need to replace some things, but I’d like them to maintain a traditional theme of slides, see-saw’s and swings.”
Lindsey, who was visiting the park with her six-year-old daughter Suzanne Keegan, added that she was concerned about the dangers of the new facilities: “I believe the high-tech theme of outdoor fitness equipment is a great idea for teenagers and people my age for a little bit of keep fit, but I think traditional parks for young children should be kept too.”
Cllr Gwyn John, the Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Parks, said: “This exciting plan will deliver a first class open space and play area for the people of Penarth.
“In addition to the new facilities there will be additional seating, bins and cycle stands to aid residents’ enjoyment of the park, while the introduction of street lighting along the length of the existing footpath will ensure safety and security for all visitors.”
The works planned represent a significant upgrade to the existing facilities that have been in use since 1995. The Council will be using funds generated by the nearby Penarth Heights development to deliver the project. It is expected that work will commence in early spring 2015.