Improvements in the pipeline as play areas in Rushmere St Andrew transferred to village

Suffolk Coastal’s Robert Whiting with Rushmere St Andrew Parish Council chairman, Phil Richings, at

Suffolk Coastals Robert Whiting with Rushmere St Andrew Parish Council chairman, Phil Richings, at Yewtree Grove play area. - Credit: Archant

Three rundown areas of open space have been handed over to villagers, who are now looking at ways to improve them.

Two parcels on grassland running beside the footpath from Yewtree Grove to Beech Road in Rushmere St Andrew Parish Council, as well as the nearby play area on Yewtree Grove, have been transferred from Suffolk Coastal to the parish council.

The land transfer is part of a wider policy by the district council of encouraging communities to take responsibility for facilities in their area.

Parish Council chairman Phil Richings said: “We really welcome this opportunity to take over these previously run-down public open space areas.

“Prior to transfer, we ensured that the areas were brought up to modern standards, in particular with regard to safety.

“Whilst acknowledging the future financial implications to the parish council, we feel this is the best way of ensuring that the facilities continue to be beneficial to the community.

“Following the previous transfers of Chestnut Close and Kelvedon Drive play areas from Suffolk Coastal, this transfer now brings all the public play areas in Rushmere St Andrew under the direct management of the parish council.

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“We are in the process of investigating enhancements to these assets.”

Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member for resources, Robert Whiting said the council aimed to encourage the development of strong communities.

He said: “Experience has shown that facilities which we devolve to local groups within the community tend to flourish.

“This is a classic example of how we can help make better use of the resources within Suffolk Coastal.”