Sheffield Council promises playground improvements for tower block residents

Sheffield Council’s co-operative executive has approved £15,000 worth of playground improvements for tower block residents following a four year struggle.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 4:36 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 10:17 pm

Residents of Hanover Tower, on Exeter Drive, Broomhall, called for playground improvements as compensation following years of stress and disruption caused by dangerous cladding put on the building by council contractors.

The potential harm of the cladding was revealed by tests introduced in the wake of the Grenfell fire disaster and a long-awaited report on an investigation into why it was put on the building and who was responsible was published last year.

Problems with the park next to the 15-storey twin tower block were reported to the council by the Hanover tenants and residents association who highlighted subsidence – when ground beneath a building sinks, pulling foundations down with it – on the surface of the park.

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Initial excavation work revealed major voids below the banked area and as a result, a plan to keep the existing bank slide was abandoned and removed to make it safe.

Today, funding for work to create a new slide was approved in a co-operative executive meeting.

In a report published ahead of the meeting, Damian Watkinson, finance manager, said: “The tenants and residents of the Hanover estate have had a lot of disruption in the last four years and now the children of the estate have no play area which is essentially their garden and the ‘much-loved’ bank slide was regarded as the major attraction for the site.

“Senior management and councillors have promised to undertake play area improvements.”

In the report, Mr Watkinson said the local authority will install an embankment slide with a double person side as soon as possible with an aim of completing the work this summer.

To achieve this they will add the works to an already awarded Westfield Playground contract which includes an embankment slide and Pennine Playgrounds, which has already been evaluated as part of the Westfield contract, was asked to price the installation to save time on procurement.

The money will come from revenue contribution to capital via the housing environment and estates service team play budget.