New play area to be installed at The Orchard in Weston.

New play area to be installed at The Orchard in Weston.

Bath Recreation Ltd have taken on the freehold of the land off Broadmoor Lane and, working with local residents and Redcliffe Homes, the equipment that was dismantled last year will be replaced.

It marks a victory for the community which campaigned to save the play area after Redcliffe’s legal obligation to maintain it expired and Bath and North East Somerset Council said it did not have the funding to maintain it. The well-used park near Weston All Saints C of E Primary School was installed as a planning requirement to serve the community nearly 16 years ago.

Redcliffe had an obligation to maintain the play area for a decade up to 2012 but continued to do so until early 2017. As its future came under threat residents rallied together and started a quest to keep the valuable local amenity alive. However, they could not persuade the council to adopt the space and take over maintenance; meaning the equipment was removed on “health and safety” grounds last May.

Now Recreation Ground Ltd – the legal landlord of the Rec in the city centre – has stepped in as it continues to look for opportunities away from its famous home to provide recreation in and around Bath.

As well as taking on the freehold, management and maintenance of the park and surrounding orchard, they are investing £15,000 for new play equipment this spring, the residents raised £2,600, the council donated £2,700 and Redcliffe Homes have pledged £10,000.

Tom O'Connor, the Managing Director of Redcliffe Homes, added: "We are delighted to see the land, especially the play area, protected for the local children. As a grandfather of a three-year-old I came to realise what fun and joy the play area can be and act as a meeting place for mums. Redcliffe Homes has always been keen to work with the local community and we are delighted to have been of some help."

(Image: Artur Lesniak/Somerset Live)

Posted by Mandy Parker