Designs for Allenwood Community Playground now on display

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Designs for Allenwood Community Playground now on display
By Kim O'Leary 14:15 Wednesday 23rd of January 2019

Designs for Allenwood Community Playground have now gone on display with feedback being sought from the public.

Kildare County Council proposes to install the play area for 1 to 12 year olds on a site on Station Road at the entrance to the Scouts Den and Bright Sparks Childcare Centre, and it is to consist of equipment such as swings, slides, rockers, multiplay units and an adventure trail.

Brendan Wyse, secretary of Allenwood Tidy Towns, has been leading a project to have a playground built in Allenwood, since 2016. That project has just become one step closer to fruition with the recent announcement by Kildare County Council that they are to begin the public consultation process for the Allenwood Community Playground as part of the related Part 8 planning process.

Brendan explains how the project has been a community effort since he came on board, “There was very little written information available to me when I began finding out the status of the playground project. I began investigating and soon found out that the local Tidy Towns were also doing some investigating of their own. I joined the Tidy Towns and worked with them to gather all the information and we held a public information meeting in Allenwood GAA Hall. We decided at the meeting, on behalf of the community of Allenwood, to accept the generous offer of a piece of land where the old ESB power station was located. Since then, we have been working with Kildare County Council on the project to drive it forward.”

A site had been offered by a local community group for use as a playground around 2012, but for various reasons, the offer was never taken up and the playground project stalled.

Whilst disappointed with the time lost due to the project stalling in the first instance, he says that it has been moving along steadily in recent months, “Many local people like myself, believed in 2012, that the playground project was a work in progress and would be built on the site that was offered in the coming years. In 2016, I was curious about the lack of updates and asked Cllr. Mark Stafford about it and he informed me that the project had in fact stalled. I was very disappointed to hear that. My youngest child is now 6 and I still have to drive around the county to bring her to a safe place to play. By now I would have expected the playground to have been completed. The fact that nothing had been done for 4 years was a blow to me.”

The disappointment of the realisation that the playground that everyone thought was arriving, was actually dead in the water, is what drove Brendan Wyse to take on the project.

Mr. Wyse has been working with a panel of interested members of the community to keep the project moving this time round. The Part 8 announcement means the project is ready to move forward in a big way over the coming months and Mr. Wyse is increasing awareness of the public consultation process.

He said:“The plans for the playground will be available to view in the local Texaco Spar shop at Allenwood Cross until Friday, February 22nd. After taking a look at these, if people have any comments or suggestions, they can email the council with them before Friday, March 8. I would encourage people to get involved in the process at this stage, as it’s important that we get the playground design right from the start.”

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