Sunderland's woeful playground plans set in concrete
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!