High-tech play and leisure area approved for Stotfold recreation ground

Plans for a floodlit multi-use games area (MUGA), an outdoor gym and play equipment have been approved in Stotfold, with technology being used to increase the site’s attraction to young people.

By Euan Duncan, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 13th June 2022, 5:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 5:24 pm

Central Bedfordshire Council submitted the proposals for the Arlesey Road recreation ground and playing fields, near Stotfold Football Club.

The application includes a MUGA, outdoor fitness and gym facilities, and outside play equipment, according to a report to CBC’s development management committee.

“No significant harm has been identified and the project is considered to be acceptable,” said the report.

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“The MUGA will be hard-surfaced, floodlit and enclosed on all sides by a 5m high fence. It would offer informal play with football and basketball courts marked out.

“The gym and play equipment proposed is to be interactive, so that future users can download an application to mobile devices and record activities or challenge friends.

“There will be three interactive fitness stations with two exercise bikes, an interactive play arch and an interactive ball wall.”

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Conservative Stotfold and Langford councillor Brian Saunders said in a statement that he fully supports the application, adding: “It’s a well-used area for residents, as anyone can use it.”

Independent Biggleswade South councillor Hayley Whitaker suggested the cycle storage should also be suitable for scooters and asked for access routes to the site to be as safe as possible for anyone using it.

“It looks pretty good already, but it’s an opportunity to make it as safe and attractive as possible to encourage people to use it,” she explained.

Conservative Arlesey councillor Ian Dalgarno said: “I’m very supportive of this. It’s something which is much-needed in the area and will improve the capacity for children to enjoy themselves.”

Conservative Eaton Bray councillor Philip Spicer described it as “a good asset for the neighbouring towns and villages” and called for the pavements and access points to be smooth to scoot on for young children.

Referring to an objection from a nearby resident, he said: “I understand from the planning officer the floodlights will be shaded to a point where it shouldn’t cause a problem to local people along the road.

“Hopefully we’ll see more of this in our towns and villages because the benefits of these developments will shine through.”

The committee unanimously approved the scheme.