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Recreation ground in line for £70k revamp
DURING the Second World War this vast open space was used as an airfield.
Now councillors are hoping to raise enough money for a revamp of Littlemore’s Herschel Crescent Recreation Ground, including a refurbishment of its playground and could – in the long term – include a BMX track.
More than £22,000 has been raised so far for the play area, which was last refurbished more than 10 years ago.
But Gill Sanders, city and county councillor for Littlemore, estimates that nearer to £70,000 is needed before work can start.
She told the Oxford Mail: “We want to improve the play area, put in a BMX track well away from houses, football pitches, and facilities for people to sit down and enjoy the area “There is an awful lot we want to do with the recreation ground.
“The play area is in desperate need of refurbishment. We want to make it a really good area for people to enjoy.”
Mrs Sanders added that residents have been asked for ideas and any plans would have to go out to consultation, but more money needs to be raised to make the playground revamp a reality.
So far Littlemore Parish Council has raised £10,000 from the parish precept, £7,000 in developer funding from the Cardinal House development, and £5,000 from the county councillors’ ‘Big Society’ budget.
Residents are being asked for their feedback on what facilities they would like to see provided in the green open space, which stretches from Herschel Crescent to Barnes Road in Cowley and is still known to some as the old Cowley airfield.
Mrs Sanders said long-term plans could include an installation that would recognise the recreation ground’s airfield history.
Anne Mogridge chairman of Littlemore Parish Council, said that plans were in the very early stages and added: “The plan at the moment is just to refurbish the play area.
“It is in need of refurbishment.”
A £153,000 refurbishment of another Littlemore play area at Oxford Road recreation ground was started last year, which included the installation of a multi-use games area for older children and renovated play area for youngsters.
Maggie Willis, of Sandford Road, Littlemore, said: “I think it is terrific, I really do. That same parish council did a huge amount of work to refurbish the facilities at the Oxford Road Recreation ground and we have benefited enormously from that.”
Robert Taylor, 49, of Herschel Crescent, said: “Personally, I think the place is very under-used apart from the football at weekends and people walking their dogs.
“I don’t think local residents will make much use of it until it is revamped.”
But he added that he would be concerned that a new play area would be a target for vandals and that some sort of security would need to be considered.
Residents who have any suggestions for facilities at the recreation ground can contact Gill Sanders on 01865 761856 or councillor John Sanders on firstname.lastname@example.org