Three parks in one community are to get a cash windfall totalling £75,000 from money being made available as a result of a new housing development currently under construction.
Big developers have to make financial contributions towards the impact they will have through increasing the size of communities, under a system known as Section 106 contributions.
In the Tankersley and Pilley area, money will be paid to Barnsley Council by developer David Wilson Homes which is currently building an estate of executive homes at New Road, around the point where the villages meet.
The two villages have three parks and the council’s parks and open spaces department has bid successfully for cash to work in all three, with the bulk of the money going to improve Pilley Pocket Park, off Chapel Road, which was created in the 1990s.
Since then, some of the equipment has fallen into disrepair and the once popular area is now less well-used.
The objective is to use a £50,000 award to provide facilities which will be used by the whole community, providing a higher standard play area, opening up access to the park and land beyond and also reworking the bowling green, which is leased to Tankersley Bowls Club, but which the council states is “unsustainable”. A picnic area would be created with a grassed area for informal games under plans being formulated by the council.
Another £15,000 has been allocated to Jubilee Park, which was opened in 2000 at Westwood New Road and is heavily used by children who attend Tankersley St Peter’s primary school across the road, though some of the equipment is now at the end of its serviceable life. The funding will allow those items to be replaced and to safeguard its future as a park and play area. A further £10,000 will be spent on Lidgett Lane recreation ground, which is only yards from the David Wilson Homes development, which is a large open area with one football pitch. Exactly how the money would be spent there has not yet been specified. An initial £29,000 is immediately available for the work, with the rest to be paid in stages as increasing numbers of homes on the site are sold. The Section 106 arrangement has been controversial because the payments are made to compensate for the impact development in affected communities, though in some cases money has been allocated to projects miles away.
Coun Robert Barnard, who represents the Penistone East ward including Tankersley and Pilley, said: “The occasions when Section 106 money gets spent elsewhere attract attention.
“This is very welcome, these parks are in need of refurbishment. We generate quite a lot of Section 106 money in the Penistone area. “It will make a worthwhile difference rather than them just getting painted,” he said.