It’s taken a while but we kept going and the MRA will have a new playground equipment in a few months.

Marna started this project in 2019, by inviting anyone interested in a new playground at the MRA to come to a meeting to discuss what they wanted. In 2020 they invited companies to tender to design and install the playground. Three tenders were received and and it was put to a public vote for which of the three designs the village preferred. We kick started the fundraising with a crowdfunding appeal. The people & businesses of Mayfield were incredibly generous and supportive.

Although at times the pandemic curtailed local fundraising activities, Marna kept applying for grants.

However, the fundraising turned out to be just a minor headache. Being advised to apply for planning permission was the start of major difficulties. There was already an tired old playground at the MRA and they and the MRA wanted to replace it, no problem surely? The planners thought differently.

Marna submitted their playground plans. The climbing equipment couldn’t go by the next-door garden. OK, new design. Now the climbing equipment was to go by the side of the house, which had no windows. No, that was no good either.

Initial playground design, rejected by the planners

Another new design, but absolutely nothing, no matter how small, could go under any bit of the tree. And they couldn’t cut the tree back even a tiny bit as it has a tree preservation order.

After over a year going backwards and forwards with different designs, it was decided to instead build the playground on the grass opposite, next to the multi-use games area (MUGA). There were no planning issues here, but at the last moment the planners discovered that according to their maps a footpath went straight through the planned playground area and MUGA. No amount of explaining that it didn’t, and never had done helped. If the planners said it did, it did. So then the MRA had to apply to move the non-existent footpath to where it actually ran – through the little gate. Eventually, with the help of our Borough Councillor Ed Barker, the planning permission was granted.

Now to finish raising the money. Although Marna had submitted several grant applications to different bodies, they wouldn’t approve any money until the planning permission problems had been resolved. But this month the grants are going through and we are in a position to place the playground order!

There is an 8 week lead time on ordering the equipment, and a 3 week installation time, so we hope to have a new playground by late summer.

Marna would like to thank everyone who attended any of our fundraising events, and to our grant givers – East Staffordshire Borough Council, Moy Park Community Fund, Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund, Trent and Dove Federation and Leek United Charity Foundation. And especially to all the people and businesses of Mayfield who donated money and time to this project. Together we’ve nearly done it.

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Mayfield's New Playground is now Open! · October 19, 2023 at 9:49 am

[…] group is delighted to announce that the new playground is now open! It’s taken three years of consulting, fundraising and negotiating planning decisions but finally Mayfield children have somewhere to meet and play […]

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