Swanmores’ revamped recreation grounds reopened to residents just last month. The long-awaited facilities have been in the works for some time, with the Parish Council seeking funding and extensively consulting with the public on the development.
The recreation ground in Swanmore was used by residents but with a skate park coming to the end of its life and better toileting facilities needed, the council decided further development of the site would give local youngsters better play and excise opportunities.
During the public consultation, residents were specifically quizzed about toilet needs in the park. A survey on the need for specialist toilet facilities received responses from people with complex disabilities living near the recreation ground. Residents confirmed a new Changing Places toilet would enable them to use the park, increasing their ability to be active, engage with other young people and join in with family activities.
One resident commented;
“Disabled children want to be active as much as possible, so anything that helps them in the community is great. Families need to be able to go out together, to watch siblings in sports events, so this would make life so much easier.”
And another said;
“We struggle with standard disabled toilets – there isn’t space for a mobile hoist and two carers. Also, the floor is not the place to change with dignity.”
“I am delighted to see CIL money being used effectively to improve the lives of residents in the district.”
Cllr Jackie Porter, Cabinet Member for Built Environment and Wellbeing, Winchester City Council
Part of the funding for the recreation ground and toilets came via Winchester City Council, using £185,000 of local Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), which is money received from housing developers as part of the planning permission process. The completed project cost £413,000 and included;
iHUS installed one of our largest modular toilet suites, which includes male and female toilets, baby changing facilities and of course, a Changing Places bathroom. The facility is fitted with a hoist, adult sized changing bench and a height adjustable toilet.
A bright and cheerful bespoke mural featuring a rainbow was added to the facilities walls to make the space feel welcoming.
Residents have already made use of the facility and the park has seen increased visitor numbers.
On the official reopening of the recreation ground, Cllr Jackie Porter, Cabinet Member for Built Environment and Wellbeing, Winchester City Council said:
“I am delighted to see CIL money being used effectively to improve the lives of residents in the district.
“These improvements are going to make a real difference for the communities in Swanmore, Bishop’s Waltham and Wickham and will help a growing number of people take part in an active lifestyle.”
With over 30 years’ experience in construction, iHUS are one of the UK’s leading disabled adaptations companies – specialising in the design and installation of Changing Places facilities.
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