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Papdale Park improvements granted planning permission

Papdale Park improvements granted planning permission
07 July 2021

A planning application for works to transform an area of green space at Papdale into a community park for all ages and abilities has been approved by Orkney Islands Council's Planning committee.

The plans submitted to the Planning committee today, 7 July, were specifically in relation to the ‘Phase 1’ works which include uncovering the culverted stream to create a meandering burn through the site, construction of a network of paths and bridges, a community plaza with road crossing to Kirkwall Grammar School, native tree and shrub planting, wildflower meadows, and proposed car parking.

This 'Phase one' part of the project is Council-led - it will pave the way forward for 'phase two', a Papdale East Play Association (PEPA)-led project to rejuvenate and redevelop the play area within the park.

The design team led by HarrisonStevens landscape architects have been working with OIC, PEPA and other stakeholders on the detailed design work and funding sources.

Further engagement will take place ahead of the phase two PEPA led project to rejuvenate and redevelop the play area within the community park.

OIC Leisure and Culture Service Manager, Garry Burton, said: “The redevelopment of Papdale Park has been a longstanding aspiration of the community - we're pleased to now have planning permission we need to bring to life the vision for a better-quality green space with shelter, plants and improved footpath and cycle ways in the area, for all to enjoy.

"These developments will provide much more benefit and opportunities to enjoy the space than simply redeveloping the play area itself would have allowed, and are a credit to the foresight and community spirit which has been at the forefront of all the consultation activity to date.”

PEPA Chairwoman Lorraine Craigie said: “We're very excited about today's decision and really want to thank the community and everyone who has contributed ideas over the course of the project so far and helped shape what will be a fantastic community space. We look forward to consulting with the community about play park design in coming months.”

The proposed development of the area originated from the Your Kirkwall Place Plan engagements, during 2018 through which PEPA brought forward ideas to improve the play park to complement the wider community aspirations. It was also born out of the Council’s Play Area Strategy, which identifies Papdale East as an area where opportunities for play were in need of improvement.

Phase one's work to de-culvert and ‘meander’ the Papdale Burn through a designed landscape, restoring it to a more natural state with gently sloping grassy banks, will create a safe multi-functional and biodiverse environment and reduce potential flooding in the area - a priority within the wider strategic climate change perspective.

The works will also include the removal of the play equipment, which is now at the end of its life, and the space levelled and regraded for the new play area.

It is also hoped that the proposed development will contribute towards Orkney’s COVID-19 recovery, providing options for increased physical activity through active travel, access to high quality public green space and the associated mental health benefits.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

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