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RUNNELLS LANE PARK: Public park is set to be transformed

RUNNELLS LANE PARK: Public park is set to be transformed

Image: LDRS

Thornton’s only public park is set to be transformed with a new children’s playground under plans unveiled by Sefton Council.

As well as building a new play area for toddlers at Runnells Lane Park, the plans include refurbishing the existing multi-use games area, providing new paths, benches and bins and planting trees around the edge of the park.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “As our outdoor spaces are proving more popular than ever, we are dedicated to finding ways to develop sites like this so that our residents have green spaces right on their doorstep that can be enjoyed by all.”

The work will be part-funded by waste company Veolia through its Environmental Trust, which is providing £75,000, as well as contributions from housing developers currently at work in the area.

This is likely to include some of the £88,788 provided by Barratt Homes as a condition of being granted permission for a controversial development on the other side of Runnells Lane.

That sum, secured in 2019 when the council granted planning permission for the 183-home development, was intended for public open space in the area around the development.

Sefton Council is also inviting members of the community to help set up a Friends of Runnells Lane Park group to undertake “volunteer activities” at the park.

Cllr Moncur said: “I’d urge people to get in touch with Green Sefton to find out more about these exciting plans and to think about ways to get involved in the Friends of Runnells Park initiative.

“Volunteering just a small amount of time in our outdoor spaces can be hugely beneficial for health and wellbeing, it’s a great way to connect with others and to influence how your local space can be used to benefit the community that live there.”

Cllr Trish Hardy, cabinet member for communities and housing, added: “It’s fantastic news that our neighbourhoods team have worked collaboratively with our Green Sefton officers to source funding for these improvements that will benefit people of all ages in this area.

“This is the only public park in Thornton and our residents have asked us to look at how we could improve children’s play opportunities and make the most of this important community space.”

Work on the park is expected to start towards the end of 2021 with the new facilities opening some time in early 2022.

Anyone interested in joining the Friends of Runnells Lane Park group should email Green Sefton at greensefton@sefton.gov.uk.

Words: Chris McKeon, Local Democracy Reporter

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