Arson-hit popular Doncaster playground to rise again as plans enter final stages

Campaigners who raised £15,000 to replace a playground burnt to the ground by mindless vandals in Doncaster will see their ambition achieved later this year.

Saturday, 22nd January 2022, 9:02 am
The plans for the new playground in Sandall Beat Wood
The plans for the new playground in Sandall Beat Wood

The playground in Sandall Beat Wood was hit by an arson attack back in December 2020. No one has been prosecuted over the incident to date.

But residents rallied round and fundraised the five-figure sum to get the ball rolling. Mayor Ros Jones then found the rest of the money from council reserve funding to make up the total sum of around £140,000.

The project is about to get underway and organisers hope the new playground will be ready in late March, in time for the Easter school holidays.

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Children were said to have taken part in the consultation to tell council officers in charge of submitting the plans what they wanted to see included.

Some of the items planned to be installed include new swings, climbing frames, slides, roundabouts, seesaws and much more.

Other comments included a call for the facility to match the surrounding woodland aesthetic and for it to be fireproof.

Wheatley Hills and Intake councillor Daniel Barwell, said he was delighted the project was now in it’s ‘final stages’.

“This is great news, not just the community but for Doncaster in general,” he said.

“This site is used a lot and it was heartbreaking when it was hit by the arson attack. We’ve had one person from Askern saying they’re going to come down when it’s up which is really encouraging – there’s been a lot of positive feedback across the board.

“Anything to do with playgrounds and parks is really expensive so we;re really grateful the council helped out in this way to make sure this facility is even better in future.”

The new facility will be built by Milton Keynes-based playground equipment supplier KOMPAN.

A spokesman said: “We understand the upset, frustration and expense that will result from vandalism of an outdoor play, sport and fitness site, so we suggest a six-step model that will improve the success of the site in terms of providing resistance to vandalism.

“Many play companies will focus on reducing the effect of vandalism and only talk about material strength and spare parts, but at KOMPAN we also focus on reducing the cause through the first four stages of consultation, location, design and engagement.”