Have your say on proposals for new Little Lindow Play Area

Cheshire East Council is seeking feedback from residents on the new play area at Little Lindow.
The re-development of Little Lindow, which is flanked by the police and fire stations, is a joint project funded by Wilmslow Town Council and Cheshire East Council and anticipated to be completed by this Autumn.

The design proposal is shown in the attached photographs above*. The key features are:

Natural robinia timber equipment,
Wheelchair accessible roundabout,
Equipment aimed at ages up to 10 years old,
Fully fenced play area – fence will be timber as well,
Path will be installed to provide access.

Ansa Environmental Services (a Cheshire East Council company), who will organise and oversee the work in consultation with Wilmslow Town Council, are keen to hear your views.

What do you think of the design?

Is there anything additional you would like to see – or anything you think the play area doesn't need?

Email your comments to [email protected] by Monday 28th March.

In addition to moving the play area from the rear of the site to the front corner, plans for Little Lindow include:

Replacing, relocating and increasing the seating,Improving the current path across the site,Adding plants, bushes and trees,Pruning existing trees to allow more light into the area,Adding nesting boxes for birds and bats.

The total cost of the project will be £157,829. Cheshire East Council will fund £70,000 of the overall amount through S106 developer contributions, whilst Wilmslow Town Council will contribute £90,000, which includes a small contingency.

£47,000 of Wilmslow Town Council's contribution will come from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) money already received from developers that must be spent in the West Ward of Wilmslow, and on infrastructure needed to support the development of their area.

*The images show proposals only and are likely to change.



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

William McQueen
Wednesday 23rd March 2022 at 3:21 pm
I'm sure the kids will love the new equipment. However I have voiced my concern before about spending a large chunk of money on moving the play area about 50m nearer to two busy roads. Keep it where it is, it's safer there. Do some landscaping and updating for sure but keep costs down and use the money to repair a few roads in the town!
John Harries
Wednesday 20th April 2022 at 4:34 pm
By all means refurbish/upgrade/improve the equipment but leave the playground substantially where it is presently sited - it's clearly much safer located well back from the A538 and then the present natural green area of Little Lindow will be preserved for everyone else to enjoy.
What Wilmslow doesn't require is a mini Disney World or something resembling a fairground attraction....and how much did the Toytown model cost the taxpayer?
Why would the cynic in me believe that shifting the playground is really a 'developers vehicle' intended to put more separation between the proposed new 'exciting' domestic dwelling development and potentially noisy kiddies enjoying themselves.
Stuart Redgard
Wednesday 20th April 2022 at 10:54 pm
#John Harries

My understanding is that the primary reason why the play area is being moved is due to its current location being in an obscured corner and not openly visible.

I recall the trees being planted along the footpath that crosses the space. That was in circa 1995/1996 which was about a year after I first moved to Wilmslow. Until then the play area could be easily seen.
About 8 years ago, I was in contact with a CEC officer regarding the state of "Little Lindow". Even then they told me that they had concerns about the state of the play equipment and its location being hidden away in the corner. They wanted not only to refurbish it but to move it to "a more appropriate location in the open" but did not have the finances to do so.

So I can assure you that the proposed relocation has got absolutely nothing to do with the redevelopment of the police station.
John Harries
Thursday 21st April 2022 at 11:30 am
# Stuart Redgard

The play area is actually incidental, Little Lindow is and was always intended to be a 'common' green area within 'The Village' boundary. In the 50's I spent many hours in/around the Little Lindow ('swings' as it was then) and it wasn't 'hidden' from view - and I guess here we are considering the wider meaning of [child] security. Minor repositioning of the existing play area and revised landscaping is all that is really required yet the proposed play area will actually dominate the site and adds nothing - as I first suggested, what Wilmslow doesn't need is another 'fairground attraction' like the one that now sits at the west end of The Carrs often mostly populated by people who don't actually contribute to any of it - result, obstruction/parking congestion, generation of excess rubbish, degradation and disregard of the facility and local COMPLAINTS
The new plan (which despite your fair/honest response) will IMHO clearly benefit the "..exciting new dwellings development" that has been shamelessly foisted on Wilmslow by CEC, our overvalued PCC and an under-fire Cheshire Police being squeezed into offering Wilmslow/Handforth and Alderley Edge more [...how much more!!] for less in the way of local policing services/resources; the whole scheme has been concocted to financially realise on local resources and 'we' have all been daft enough to meekly accept it at face value. Some CEC engaged consultancy (probably the same crowd that produced the Playtown-like playground diorama) has now labelled Little Lindow as a Wilmslow Gateway - JHC, what next do we need to be told - I refer you to my 1st paragraph.
Mark Goldsmith
Thursday 21st April 2022 at 11:52 am
Hi John

There are many reasons for this change, which you and William seem unaware of:

a) The exiting rear location is a magnet for anti-social behaviour (ASB). Some lazy dog owners use it as a dog run compound and we even had a homeless woman pitch her tent there too. We also have issues in Wilmslow with gangs of teenagers congregating at night and causing disturbances, especially where there is secluded seating. This new play area will have extra seating, so moving it to a more visible area reduces any potential for ASB or vandalism.

b) The feedback from women is they feel vulnerable using the current play area, especially alone and with young children. The new position is far more visible and will give lone parents more confidence to use it.

c) We want the new facilities to be widely used, so giving them a new, prominent position will help attract more families to come and use it.

d) The current grass space for ball games is on the corner of two busy roads. This has the clear potential for children to run after balls and into the road. Therefore, it is safer to locate "kick-about" activity at the rear of the park and where the exiting play area is located.

e) The new play ground will be fenced off, with a self-closing gate that faces the rear of the park. Therefore, if any children do escape, they should run away from the roads and not towards them.

With regards to your other comments, this "toy town model" is a computer generated image (CGI), so is not a physical model at all. It was provided free of charge by the play equipment supplier, so did not cost the tax payer a penny. We also used it to talk to parents and young children about the new equipment to help us chose the right mix, The feedback was that they can't wait to use it.

This play equipment will be similar to that installed in other Wilmslow parks at Brown's Lane, The Carrs and Gravel Lane. I have never heard these described as "Disney World" though. I suspect it's because many of the children and parents who use them have been to a Disney theme park and understand the difference. Regardless though, these Wilmslow play areas are popular with young families and are widely used, which is the whole point of having them.

Finally, when the park revamp was announced, it was not known how the police station site would be redeveloped. This is still not certain. As you know, Cheshire East will only oversee any planning application for this site and will not benefit from its sale or redevelopment.

I therefore do not know why you continue to suggest an obtuse conspiracy is driving this park upgrade, when there are so many more obvious benefits for this change.


Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Wilmslow West & Chorley
John Harries
Thursday 28th April 2022 at 11:24 am
#Mark Goldsmith
Appreciate your reply but I guess you are not really listening (understanding) my comments. I maybe am a bit stupid but I'm not entirely gullible. The site is of value to the 'borough' as a whole - it's been carved up/obfuscated by successive administrations into what is now viewed as valuable building land that can realise funds to benefit outside ie beyond the 'borough' (valuable to whom is another question but it's open to interpretation which I'll leave up to others who read these channels..) plus the loss of what I think is an essential Police centre for a community of 100000 taxpayer citizens.
As a whole, a development could be made-over to a larger, more green site (with a modest parking facility for local users/visitors) but that idea of course doesn't generate unattached 'funds'. The proposed playground 'attraction' dominates the Little Lindow site as it stands, it's supposed to be for everyone don't ya know! (and for certain it will not be enlarged since the rest of it is going to be an 'exciting' development of private dwellings). Employment of more imaginative overall landscaping/screening from major traffic movement and minor re-positioning of a more modest playground ticks my boxes - it's green, far cheaper and of much more use to the community as a whole.
One final point, of course the CGI model (it was reminiscent of Toy Town to me but who cares..) was supplied 'FOC' by the equipment supplier, it was part of their sales pitch, the contract and I'd guess it would be a turn-key project - sign on the dotted line and behold it will appear! (and to quote from the film Field of Dreams - "..build it and they will come"). In the days of WUDC they would select kit from a catalogue then put it where they thought people would utilise it, they didn't have to 'sell' the scheme to the community.
Mark Goldsmith
Thursday 28th April 2022 at 3:11 pm
Hi John

Your latest reply shows your anger about the potential police station redevelopment is clearly motivating your comments about this article. However, the police station is a totally different site and a totally different story.

Little Lindow park has remained the same size for over 100 years. It is not getting smaller, nor is it being sold, nor redeveloped. Therefore, I am happy to debate it's revamp, but not when you are using it as a proxy for a completely different issue. Especially as that issue is completely unrelated to Cheshire East.

Therefore, your concerns about the police station site should be directed towards the Police & Crime Commissioner who solely controls its future.

However valid those concerns may be, they are not part of this park project, which is only about improving Little Lindow for children, adults and wildlife alike for the years to come.