FAMILIES on Launceston’s Lanstephan estate celebrated the official transfer of the Lanstephan Area Play Park to Launceston Town Council from Cornwall Council at a community event on Tuesday, August 1.
The move secures the future of the park for the community and is part of Cornwall Council’s ambition to see the control of local assets passed to local communities where there is support to do so.
The transfer of the park’s freehold to Launceston Town Council will ensure local people manage, maintain and make decisions about the park.
Placing the park in local hands also opens up opportunities for the Lanstephan Area Play Park Committee and Launceston Town Council to apply for grant funding that isn’t available to Cornwall Council and to make further improvements to the site.
Three years ago Lanstephan Area Play Park was a derelict car park in the middle of a housing estate with little in the way of open space or play areas.
Residents formed the Lanstephan Area Play Park Committee, began talks with Cornwall Council and set about raising funds to transform the site into an inviting public space for everyone on the estate.
Cornwall Housing agreed to tidy up the site, while Cornwall Council provided some capital funding to bring it up to a good standard of repair before the freehold transfer of the site took place. Meanwhile the Lanstephan Area Play Park Committee secured grant funding for low maintenance play equipment, perimeter fencing, seating and colourful planters to brighten up the site and turn it into the popular park that it is today.
Adam Paynter, Leader of Cornwall Council and Cornwall Councillor for Launceston North and North Petherwin, said: “Local play areas have a vital role in the health, well-being and quality of life in our towns and we know how important they are to our residents. Lanstephan is one of the areas identified in Cornwall Council’s Open Spaces Strategy for Larger Towns as needing more equipped play areas, so it’s been fantastic to have been involved in the Lanstephan Area Play Park’s development and transformation.”
Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “Launceston Town Council already had a strong track record of working with Cornwall Council to deliver localism and devolution projects, having already taken on community assets and services. So when they agreed to take over Lanstephan Area Play Park, we were keen to work with them and the local community to help them realise their ambition to enhance the site and provide local management. The park is an impressive example of what can be achieved by a determined community group and a proactive town council to secure the best long-term local custodians of an open space that is greatly valued by the local community. I commend their innovative approach.”
Dave Gordon, deputy mayor of Launceston Town Council, said: “Launceston Town Council have been long-term supporters of the concept of a play park on the Lanstephan estate, and we are delighted to have played our part in the creation of this park and garden area. Now the project is finally complete with the transfer of the park to the residents. The children of the Lanstephan estate have finally got a safe place to meet and play, within sight of their homes, and this has only been possible by the determination of the play park committee, who should be congratulated on their hard work and achievement. We are proud to continue our support of the Lanstephan Area Play Park and other play areas within the town and will do all we can to ensure the children of Launceston have a safe, green open spaces to enjoy and play in.”
Iris Lindsay, chairman of the Lanstephan Area Play Park, said: “The Lanstephan Area Play Park Committee and residents of Lanstephan are thrilled with the transformation of the area within our estate and are pleased that the transfer of land has now passed to Launceston Town Council. We would like to thank both Cornwall Council and Launceston Town Council for their support over the last three years.
“We would also like to thank all our financial supporters, especially DCLG for the Pocket Park grant which kick started the project, together with Tesco Bags of Help, Launceston Rotary Trust, Cory Environmental Trust, Cornwall Community Foundation CCF100 Club, Steve Ryan of SR Motoring Services and Dunheved Lodge.
“We would especially like to thank Laura Smith and Heather Gregory for arranging two raffles raising much-needed funds for the project. Finally, thanks to TK Play for their help and advice during the construction process.”