Piddinghoe play area to be revamped

Piddinghoe playground.
Piddinghoe playground.
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A run down play area in Piddinghoe will be rejuvenated thanks to a £15,000 grant from the Veolia Environmental Trust.

Piddinghoe Parish Council said work could be completed in September or October and would cost a total of £25,000.

Newhaven MP Norman Baker welcomed the funding but called for Veolia to contribute millions to the area, not the “odd pocket money here and there.”

Parish council member Quincy Whitaker said: “This grant is great news and means we can push the project forward and rejuvenate our play area.”

Money will be used to renovate, develop and expand the play area on The Hoe, creating a more challenging and fun play environment.

The grant was awarded at Veolia’s quarterly board meeting on Monday July 15.

Cllr Whitaker said it would probably take a week or two to install the play equipment but did not have a date yet for when the contractor could start.

The plan is to extend the play area into the adjoining woodland to create a more imaginative natural play area, with woodland trails, stepping logs and trees to climb.

There will also be bird, plant and bug identification boards and nesting boxes to encourage interest in wildlife and environmental education.

The parish council said play equipment had reached the end of its life.

Newhaven MP Mr Baker said: “£15,000 to improve the play area in Piddinghoe is great news for the village and I welcome this funding which will provide an improved playing environment for local youngsters.

“It is unfortunate, however, that the Conservative East Sussex County Council failed in securing anything like a decent level of compensation for the people of Newhaven having forced through their incinerator, so we are now left with these piecemeal funding announcements that while welcome, cannot in my view make up for the council’s failings.

“Waste management is a hugely profitable business and Veolia should be contributing millions to Newhaven, not the odd pocket money here and there.”

A legal agreement between the county council and Veolia, which was part of the planning permission for the incinerator, included a contribution of £900,000 for a ‘compensatory environmental resource’ (primarily tree planting) to provide a screen for the incinerator, along with landscaping in Newhaven.

The county council stressed this £900,000 contribution was separate from the grant Veolia gave to Piddinghoe Parish Council.