Ideas sought in bid to revamp play area

A CAMPAIGN has today been launched to revamp a Felixstowe sports ground described as “a place of woe” and create a new play adventure park for youngsters.

A CAMPAIGN has today been launched to revamp a Felixstowe sports ground described as “a place of woe” and create a new play adventure park for youngsters.

Coronation Sports Ground stands in the middle of an area of family housing but is dominated by a rugby and cricket pitch, with just a poorly-equipped play area for toddlers.

New community group West End Play is drawing up plans for a �50,000-plus refurbishment of the area to create facilities for eight to 13s. Now, the group is inviting residents to have their say on the development.

Mother-of-two Kirsty Mann, chairman of the group, said the current play facilities at the ground - off Mill Lane and Coronation Drive - were “a place of woe”.

She said the park was in, statistically, one of the most deprived areas of England, where there is an overwhelmingly large number of special or additional needs.

“My concern is that many children these days live their lives without the basic freedoms they would have enjoyed a generation ago, living their lives through a screen,” said Mrs Mann, who has daughters Francesca, seven, and Gracie, three.

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“Many have never been out unsupervised. This means that they can lack social skills and any awareness of their environment and as a result, never become self-sufficient.

“Developing this play area will provide a way for them to stretch themselves to find out their capabilities.”

Architects had drawn up a series of ideas for developing the ground and it was planned to submit a bid to Play Builders next month for up to �50,000.

“At this stage they are very much ideas - suggestions of what could be done. We want to hear residents' views because we want everyone in the area behind the project,” said Mrs Mann.

An exhibition of the ideas will be held at the rugby clubhouse in Mill Lane tomorrow from 11am to 3pm.

Does Felixstowe's Coronation estate area need more facilities for youngsters? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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