Opinions sought over the future of St Austell’s parks
St Austell Town Council has launched its Parks and Open Spaces Strategy consultation, which will run until Friday, March 19. Pictured: Truro Road Park, St Austell
17th March 2021
By Natasha Swift
Residents in St Austell are being asked for their views to help shape the future of parks and opens spaces in the town.
St Austell Town Council has launched its Parks and Open Spaces Strategy consultation, which will run until Friday (March 19).
The strategy aims to “protect and establish public open space for recreation, play, sport, health, biodiversity, heritage and climate change mitigation and to ensure that it is appropriate to need”.
The town council hopes the plan of action will “improve understanding of where we are now, agree where we want to get to and how to get there”.
The strategy is made up of five documents covering everything from play equipment and accessibility, to trees and making space for nature.
The plans vision states: “The town council aims to work closely with partners and local communities to provide a range of parks and open spaces across St Austell with a balance of natural, formal and recreational areas which will enhance St Austell’s status as a garden town, contribute to the health and well-being of the local community and visitors and generate pride in the area.
“The council will seek to improve the standard and range of parks and open space provision and encourage greater biodiversity across St Austell while enhancing and developing recreational spaces which are welcoming, clean, fun, safe, within easy reach and environmentally sympathetic.”
The parks in St Austell transferred to the town council from Cornwall Council in two tranches in November 2016 and February 2017.
The town council owns 18 parks and open spaces, including Bethel Park, Jubilee Meadows, Linear Park, Lostwood Community Garden, Poltair Park, Sandy Hill Park, Truro Road Park and Woodland Road Park.
In addition to the parks and open spaces, the town council also maintains Mount Charles roundabout, Asda roundabout, Urban village roundabout, Edgcumbe Triangle, Cemetery Park, Holy Trinity Churchgrounds, Eastbourne Road Cemetery, Chipponds Quarry, Highways flower bed and various highways grass verges on behalf of Cornwall Council.
The strategy states that its aim is to “protect and
establish public open space for recreation, play, sport, health, biodiversity, heritage and climate change mitigation and to ensure that public open space is appropriate to need, well located and
adaptable to future requirements.”
It continues: “The strategy will help to identify funding needs and opportunities for attracting funding.
“The strategy will influence, guide and support the work of St Austell Town Council and other organisations (including community groups and individual volunteers) in the provision of and management of parks and open spaces throughout the town.
“This will include the development of new parks and open spaces and new and improved play provision alongside the proper maintenance of existing facilities.
“This includes the management and protection of trees, the introduction of measures to support the St Austell garden town or greening project, the promotion of a greener more biodiverse St Austell and the provision of facilities that residents and visitors to St Austell will value and feel proud of.”
The document looks at ways to create new parks and open spaces as the town council “acknowledges Cornwall Council’s research findings which identify a need for more formal open space, allotments, facilities for teenagers and football pitches in St Austell.”
The council said it will address those shortages by influencing developers through the planning system as well as seeking to “protect, maintain and improve the existing facilities where and when possible”.
The document also recognises that not all of the town council’s parks are accessible due to their nature, but the council has said it will explore how it can make them more accessible by reviewing the play equipment provided, paths, furniture and gates.
To date accessible play equipment has been installed by the town council in Poltair Park, Truro Road Park, The Meadows, Sandy Hill Park, Woodland Road Park, Prince Charles Park and Chapel Field.
In the document the town council said it is committed to “providing good quality and safe play equipment to encourage children and teenagers to exercise and play” and is looking to spend more than £700,000 to replace the old play equipment inherited from predecessor authorities .
The council has started to replace the oldest of the play equipment.
The document also touches on cycle and recreation trails, stating: “The town council has identified that significant regeneration, environment and health benefits could be created by improving the recreational trails within and outside of St Austell.
“The council will seek to improve the cycling facilities within its parks and the paths and trails through the parks to ensure better links throughout the town to encourage more cycling and walking and less use of the motor car.
“It is hoped that in September 2021 the Tour of Britain will visit Cornwall and race through St Austell. The town council will consider the creation of a cycling legacy following this event.”
To view the consultation visit https://bit.ly/3kTcMj3