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New play area for Memorial Park ahead of reservoir works

Published on 20 January 2022

Work to install new temporary play equipment in Whaley Bridge's Memorial Park is now underway.

The existing play area, at the Toddbrook Reservoir end of the park, will need to be removed to allow work to create a new spillway and restore the reservoir to take place.

A planning application relating to this work is due to be considered by High Peak Borough Council in February and follows the incident in August 2019 which saw over one billion litres of water pumped from the reservoir following damage to the spillway.

The project is the responsibility of Canal and River Trust and they are working in partnership with High Peak Borough Council to ensure disruption to users of the Memorial Park is minimised whilst the essential works take place.

That includes providing a new temporary play area at the top end of the park adjacent to the multi-sports court and nearby pavilion.

Contractors Wicksteed will be on site this week to install the new play equipment and the new area is expected to be open by the end of this month.

Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, Deputy Leader of the Council and Executive Councillor for Regeneration, Tourism and Leisure, said: "The work the Trust need to do to repair and restore Toddbrook Reservoir is necessary and means that the removal of the existing play area is unavoidable.

"We know how much people value the amenities provided in the park so I'm really pleased that we've secured these alternative facilities from the Trust for the community which will be in place and open before the closure of the existing play area so there will be no loss of play opportunities.

"Being active and moving more is a key part of maintaining good physical and mental health so ensuring play areas like this are available to local communities is so important. I'm sure residents of Whaley, and those who love the Memorial Park, will welcome this new provision and make full use of it!"

The work to install the temporary play area will be finished before the planning application is decided so, if the application is approved, both play areas will be open to the public for a short period before work on the reservoir begins.

Tom Greenwood, Project Manager for Canal and River Trust, said: "We are pleased to be installing the temporary play area now as it is important this is in place before our planned work to restore Toddbrook Reservoir begins.

"We are grateful for the support of the Council with this alternative facility which means local families can continue to enjoy valuable play opportunities during our construction works."