Building AW: Brooklands Park can become a “regional destination”
Brooklands Park has the potential to become a “regional destination” - that’s the view of those who have worked with Worthing Borough Council to create a masterplan to guide the rejuvenation of the much-loved open space.
After listening to the views of hundreds of local people, the local authority and leading environment-shaping company Chris Blandford Associates have revealed an ambition to turn the area into a new Science Adventure Park.
The claim came during an interview with Adur & Worthing Councils’ online magazine, which is designed to keep residents and business up-to-date with the ongoing change in the area.
Speaking to Building AW, Adrienne Soudain, a landscape architect at Chris Blandford Associates, said the inspiration for the vision came from making the most of Brooklands’ unique setting.
She said: “We are excited by the prospect of bringing science to life by offering hands-on experiences within a truly innovative regional park experience.
“The local links to science and the creative responses from the stakeholder consultation inspired us to design an adventure park with multiple indoor and outdoor leisure activities for year-round interest and opportunities to explore and experience science phenomenon through leisure and play.
“The creation of a regional destination will attract greater visitor numbers and contribute to the long-term viability of the park. Commercial ventures to offset the management costs of the park also offer valuable local employment opportunities.”
The vision has been developed after input from more than 800 residents. The Friends of Brooklands Park have also been actively engaged in the process.
Key features and benefits of the regeneration will include a new cafe and lakeside picnicking area at the heart of the park along with improved walks and fitness trails, areas for outdoor events and community activities, community gardens and an adventure play area.
An indoor leisure activity centre in the south west corner of the park is also outlined to ensure it remains an attractive destination all year round.
But Adrienne said that what will make the rejuvenation really special is that Brooklands has been “a focal point for people's lives over a number of generations”.
She said: “We are passionate about creating opportunities for local community to come together, get involved and get a real sense of ownership over the park. When people feel a sense of ownership over their surroundings they look after them; they become cherished as an asset to the neighbourhood and a hub of the community.”
Building AW is a bright, informal 28-page online publication which keeps residents and businesses across both areas up-to-date with all the latest development in their communities.
Features in the October edition include an update on the Adur District Council-funded office block in Ham Road which will keep hundreds of jobs in the local area; details on the completion of a gateway to Shoreham Beach; and the latest on £5 million plans to improve Worthing town centre.
The online publication also includes regular updates on some of the major projects across Adur and Worthing which are moving forward at speed.
In their introductions to the edition, leaders recognised the change to local communities but urged that regeneration was about more than building houses.
Councillor Brian Boggis, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “As has been the case in recent months, much of the focus is on the Shoreham.
"However, the recent decision of the planning committee to approve the New Monks Farm application for 600 new homes and the new IKEA store as well as the proposed industrial development on the Airport site promises to move the focus westward in the coming months."
Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Regeneration is important to the continued vitality of Worthing. This is not only in terms of our housing, our retail offer, or state of the art business parks that we aim to bring to Decoy Farm; but it is also about leisure, health and wellbeing. It’s about what we provide for our residents to enjoy, whatever their age.
“That is why working in partnership with colleagues I am so pleased to see the next stage of the regeneration of Brooklands Park being announced.
“Once delivered it will provide a major leisure attraction for residents and will put Worthing further on the map as a destination of choice for those who live within striking distance of the town.”
To read the most recent edition of Building AW visit this link