Sunderland's woeful playground plans set in concrete

5 May 2010

Bitterwallet - Sunderland I was keen to begin the title of this post with WTF IS DIS REAL? but alas it really is possible to have too much of a good thing. Unless you're one of the children living near Diamond Hall Pocket Park in Sunderland, since the only thing they have too much of, is concrete.

Taking your kids to the park is a rite of passage for both parent and child. Sadly, in their infinite wisdom, Sunderland City Council decided such a rite of passage was best served by spending £70,000 of public money on a new children's play area that had no swings, slides, see-saws, roundabout, climbing frames, sandpits or indeed anything else traditionally associated with the form. What it did have, however, was concrete. And that's it. There's not even a place for parents to sit. Unless you want to sit on the concrete.

The photo from the Sunderland Echo pretty much sums it up. And quite how the site is accessible to disabled children, a criteria of the Pathfinder funding that paid for it, is anyone's guess. Of course it's all the fault of the residents, at least according to the council:

"Letters were sent out to 300 local households asking for their suggestions, and invitations to an open day at the park and posters were displayed in council offices and community centres asking people to share their views.

"The resulting designs received a positive response from local councillors and residents when they were sent out for a second round of consultation and it was at residents' suggestion that the original plans for timber features was changed to concrete as residents felt this would be more long-lasting.

"The design also includes a CCTV camera being installed to help maintain a safe and secure playing environment."

So it's all your own doing, Sunderland. But at least you have CCTV to safeguard a park that nobody will use. Props!

[Sunderland Echo]

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  • Morocco
    Let's all laugh at Sunderland!
  • Morocco
    An earthquake struck Sunderland a few years back, causing around thrity quid's worth of improvements. Rescuers pulled a young girl out of the wreckage, covered in blood. "Where're ye bleeding from?" they asked. "Ryhope," she replied, "what's it gorra dee wi' yee?"
  • 3dtv
    As a resident of chester le street, about 20 miles from Sunderland, I can confidently echo the thoughts of Morocco, above: "Lets all laugh at Sunderland!". Or LALAS for short.
  • wonkey h.
    I bet they won't even be the first to declare. LALAS.
  • Laurz
    I've looked into this story further and I find it quite interesting Firstly here's a quote from another site "When my son was little, he used to play when they had swings. He loved it. He is 21 now and has a son of his own, and he can't take him there." Ah bless, so from that we are to assume that when he was around 3 or 4 she used to take him to play on the swings right? But hang on a minute, this 'park' is actually just a grassed area that is where a former school was. A former school that only closed down 17 years ago. So unless they built swings and slides on this former school site as soon as it closed I doubt her story very much. Oh well lets see what I can find on google streetview and google maps. Yes just as I suspected, a nice flat grassed area, no swings, no slides, just a rectangular grassed area. So they havent knocked down an area of swings and slides and replaced it with boring concrete, what they've done is added an unusual concrete section in a small area of a large grassed park. A large grassed park that didnt have any benches there before either
  • Morocco
  • Born2Hula
    Yeah Laurz, she lied. This is still shit though.
  • FTM
    Typical goading Geordie tossers, enjoy your season in the Premier!
  • Morocco
    LMFAO @ FTM. Pick your dummy up. Playing in the Premier League's not as much of a novelty to us as it is to you, having played in all but two Premier League seasons since the competition's inception. By the way, your manager's a Geordie, so was Bob Stokoe, the last manager to win a trophy for you (Fizzy Pop league doesn't count, notice that, unlike yourselves, we didn't have an open top bus parade). If you want to drag football into it, by all means be my guest. I was merely pointing out that Sunderland is a shithole, as also recognised by those who voted in the 2005 "Crap Towns" survey, where Sunderland was voted the 3rd worst place to live in Britain. Congratulations, it's the only top-level competition you'll ever finish third in. I don't think that concrete monstrosity will change anyone's perception... why didn't you use it to build a cathedral instead?
  • Morocco
    P.S. If you didn't bite, we wouldn't do it. LALAS
  • PaulH
    @Morocco 'gan boil ya heed!
  • Andy D.
    @Laurz Pretty sure there's never been swings there. My grandparents lived twenty feet away from it.
  • More B.
    [...] we reported on a new concrete playground in Sunderland that has seriously depressed and alarmed local residents. But is it really worse than [...]
  • none
    Are the facts concrete on this one?
  • Jack
    @Laurz haha - cheers for pointing that out. Its always amusing when someone comes out and dramatises a situation in their area. It does look pretty hideous for £70k, but its not much cash after everyone has to fill their pockets (planners, designers, builders ...whatever)
  • ha h.
    @laurz - Not enough evidence to convict I'm afraid... In the quotes I've read from that woman she said she'd lived in the area 15yrs (from when her lad was around 6) - the quote "When my son was little, he used to play when they had swings" doesn't emphatically say it was in that particular park area but maybe in the 4-5 years while he was still quite little there was a swing there? Presumably you were checking google maps from 10-15yrs ago as well? Other reports mention the leaflets distributed by the council showing kids on swings - that may have spured her comments on swings and quite possibly she was quoted out of context.
  • Martin
    It's grim up north. FACT.
  • Reason
    I don't know what they are complaining about, it's made a massive improvement to the area. Somewhere safe for the kids to take their children when they bunk off school, giving the grandparents a day off the celebrate their 30th's. Mackems from Washington will have a lovely day out there, somewhere for them to have sex, give the bus shelters a break.
  • me
    WTF ... is this ... please somebody hold me!!!
  • -]
    Another load of old shite from laurz. That is the laurz who likes to "assume" lots but has evidence of very little. LALAS, as they say (in this thread). I've looked into laurz further and I find it to be a sack of cock-dribble.
  • Morocco
    If I had the wings of a sparrow The dirty black arse of a crow I'd fly over Sunderland tomorrow And shite on the bastards below! (Below!) Shite on the bastards below! (Below!) Shite on, shite on, shite on the bastards below! (Below!)
  • Mr G.
    Us Northerners are fuckin' 'ard. Grass? Fuck off, where's the fun in slammin' ya mate's face inta fuckin' grass? Gi' us concrete any day. When I wuz a lad we used to play down tha pit wi' fuckin' dynamite... (etc.)
  • Concrete B.
    [...] couple of weeks ago, we told you about the ill-advised play park in Sunderland that consisted of a load of not-all-that-much-fun concrete slabs. Following the ensuing shit-storm, [...]

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