Since taking on the role of Clerk for Cholsey Parish Council last October 2022, I have been working to finally resolve the situation with Cholsey Meadows play area. We absolutely know how frustrating it is for residents that the play area is not in a good state of repair.
Here is the situation as it currently stands:
- The responsibility for the playpark is still with the developer, Vistry.
- If the Parish Council takes on responsibility, it must first be transferred to South Oxfordshire District Council and then onto us. Hence several parties have been involved, adding complication.
- For SODC to be happy to proceed with a transfer, we were informed by them last autumn that an up-to-date play inspection was required – the play area needs to be in a fit state to take over. To expedite this process, Cholsey Parish Council paid for an inspection to be completed (although it is not our responsibility to do this) and this was carried out by an external company in January.
- We then set about organising a meeting with all parties – SODC, the developer Vistry and the Parish Council – which happened in April. It was agreed at the April meeting that Vistry would arrange with the original installer for the necessary repairs to be made, so that we could proceed with transfer. This includes replacing the children’s swings which needed to be removed due to a design flaw we believe.
- The Parish Council continued to chase Vistry for action, unsuccessfully, and in July 2023 were told that responsibility for this task had been passed to Tom Freeman at Vistry. Tom was initially very responsive and helpful; our understanding was that he was organising for the play equipment installer to make the necessary repairs.
- We have since been chasing regularly by email and telephone in August and September 2023. The repairs continue to be under Tom’s remit. If you would like to add your voice, please contact Tom at Vistry:
Direct: 01256 674155
Mobile: 07776 999652
Vistry Housebuilding Thames Valley
550 Oracle Parkway | Thames Valley Park | Reading Berkshire | RG6 1PT |
Claire Bird, Clerk, Cholsey Parish Council