GOLDSWORTH PARK Centre visitors, shoppers and residents can breathe a sigh of relief now that the landlord intends to replace the popular children’s play area, rather than dispose of it altogether.
Last month the News & Mail revealed residents’ and councillors’ horror that London company Ropemaker Properties, who own the freehold of the land on Denton Way, planned to scrap the designated play area that has been there for three decades.
Woking MP Jonathan Lord, who has a six-year-old who enjoys playing there, was totally behind his constituents.
After looking into the history of the site since it was first built along with Waitrose and the parade of shops in 1983, it was discovered that the area is not protected by any conditions, and is therefore left up to the landlord’s discretion.
When the Chairman of Goldsworth Park Community Association, Irene Watson, spoke to managing agents Jones Lang Lasalle for an update, she was pleased to receive the following statement: “On behalf of the landlord of the Goldsworth Park
Centre it is our duty to maintain, repair and cleanse the common parts within the retail centre. It is thought that the existing common space is in poor condition, aesthetically unpleasing and provides inadequate/poor seating, so we intend to carry out improvement works to the area.
“The first stage will include the removal of the existing play equipment, at the landlord’s cost, which is deteriorating and considered potentially hazardous to children. It is the landlord’s intention to replace the existing climbing frame with new, low-level play apparatus for local children to use and enjoy, improve the general attractiveness of the area and improve the seating for adults and children.”
The representative added that she hoped this would put the local residents’ minds at rest in the knowledge that the equipment will be replaced in due course. Mrs Watson also raised the issue of accidents involving older people on the uneven paving outside the shops which, in her view, was more of a health and safety risk than the play equipment.
The agents expressed concern and said their intention was to refurbish the whole courtyard, to repaint and relocate the seating and brighten up the surface of the children’s play area, and they will take appropriate action over the paving during this process.