Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan Scheme

Parish Council secures funding of £3.8m to deliver Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan

Stone Parish Council has been successful in securing funds of £3.8m following a recent application to Dartford Borough Council to seek support for the scheme from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds collected from housing development in the Stone area. The parish council had already committed funds of £650k towards the scheme and will contribute towards the overall sum further from future CIL receipts. This provides the parish council with the budget to deliver the planned improvements, with work at the site expecting to start in early 2024.

The parish council developed the recreation ground improvement scheme as part of the Stone Parish Neighbourhood Plan, following community consultation to establish the wishes of residents in improving the open space and creating a park fit for the future. The parish has seen increased demand on services from the recent growth in population and the council is mindful of further impact from the adjacent housing development at Knight’s Reach, acknowledging that 46% of dwellings will not have access to private outdoor space.

The scheme aims to support biodiversity, community cohesion, improve access and air quality, safety and security, and health and wellbeing.

Planned works include:

  • Improved landscaping throughout the park, providing 167 more trees, shrubs, meadow areas, and paths around the park ensuring better accessibility to all residents.
  • New recreational/leisure activities including a pump track, multi-use games area, youth shelter, performance stage, climbing logs, table tennis, outdoor gym and running track.
  • Construction of a new café to enable the relocation of the existing smaller Lizzies café.
  • Improved security throughout the park through provision of CCTV, lighting, improved boundaries, and access points to the park to help the council tackle any instances of anti-social behaviour.
  • Accessibility features such as a Changing Places toilet and sensory garden.
  • Improvements to the sports changing rooms.
  • Expansion of Stone Pavilion to enable additional community benefits.
  • Increased parking across the site.

The project also emphasizes sustainability, utilizing air source heat pumps and green energy production methods to offset energy consumption.

Tender documentation is currently being prepared, and a contractor will be appointed in early 2024. The timeline for the works, which will be phased to minimize disruption, will be confirmed later, with initial benefits expected by next summer.

To be kept up-to-date with information regarding this project, please sign up to the council’s mailing list.

New Children’s Playground – delivered August 2021

Public consultation on proposals for a new playground was carried out with local families in 2020 and the results of this informed the design and tender.

The new super-playground was installed over the summer in 2021 and opened just before the end of the school summer holiday. The playground caters well for all ages of children and includes a high level of sensory and inclusive play equipment.

This flagship children’s playground is the first feature of the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan scheme, with more work scheduled for implementation in 2022 once planning permission has been granted.