Merton Council announced its decision this week not to proceed with plans for a Goals soccer centre in Morden Park, but to consider alternatives to commercial development instead.
Following the publication of the consultation results, the council officially noted all the findings made by those taking part in the consultation on the future vision for Morden Park. The recommendations from consultation specialists Local Dialogue include the need for facilities to be provided for all age ranges, including teenagers. As a first step in making residents’ vision for Morden Park a reality, the council is already forging ahead with the installation of a brand new state of the art multi use sports area especially designed for teenagers. This follows the council securing £26,000 in funding for such a project. After consulting with pupils from nearby Bishopsford Community School, the area will include equipment that provides a mix of physical and play challenges for young people and will be ready for use by the end of November.
Consultation findings demonstrated residents’ desire for sympathetically landscaped green open space where wildlife can flourish undisturbed. At the same time, they called for a place where community events, history and heritage can be publicly celebrated. They also recognised the need for sports and recreational facilities and recommended that these should be located in the playing fields area. In addition to new sporting facilities, residents supported the refurbishment or reconstruction of Morden Park Pools should funding become available.
Merton Council cabinet member for environment and leisure services Councillor David Simpson said: “We were adamant that this consultation should remain independent of the council. Local Dialogue developed innovative ways to get as many people as possible across all age groups and communities to make their opinions known. As a result we now we have a comprehensive idea of what people are and aren’t looking for in their park.
‘We are so lucky to have more than 100 acres of open green space in the park and will continue to ensure that any proposals for the park would only further enhance the area. This brand new multi use activity area for teenagers will do just that.
“We always work to put the needs of residents first and are optimistic, having received the findings of this consultation, that we can now implement them as and when funds become available so as to ensure Morden Park remains a valuable resource for all to enjoy.”
Consultation results can be read at http://www.merton.gov.uk/mordenparkvision