The Harlow Splash Park

Local Authority



  • Education and Community
Decoration Decoration

Planning permission secured for a community splash park on a designated 'Green Wedge' site

Client The Splash by Kingcombe Stonbury LTD
Architect Splash Architects
Author Alex Yearsley
Principal Planner

Project Overview

Bell Cornwell has secured planning permission for a new splash park located within the grounds of the Great Parndon Community Centre in Harlow. The scheme was brought forward in partnership between Harlow Council and The Splash by Kingcombe Stonbury LTD.

The site is designated as a ‘Green Wedge’ and local planning policy stipulates that one role of Green Wedges is to provide Green Infrastructure, including open spaces for sport and recreation. We were able to persuade the Council that the proposed development would not impact the function of the Green Wedge and would provide a bespoke recreation area, in accordance with local policy, for the benefit of the local community.

The Council were on board with the provision of new recreation infrastructure that encourages physical exercise, provides accessible open space and a link between community facilities and residents. Furthermore, the scheme will replace a redundant paddling pool and comprises good quality design with regard to the Essex Design Guide, which incorporates active design principles.

Given the splash park’s proximity to nearby residential dwellings, the Great Parndon Community Association (GPCA) outlined some concerns which required further clarification. Due to the nature of the application (being made by the Council), the delegation process outlines that any objection would require it to be heard at Planning Committee which could have severely delayed the Council’s timeframe for delivering the project.

Bell Cornwell, in collaboration with our client, were ultimately able to reassure the GPCA that the site forms part of an established community centre in a mixed-use area. The design of the bespoke splash park has been carefully considered to fit naturally into this context and will be sited within the parameters of the existing redundant paddling pool. The GPCA were satisfied and withdrew their objections allowing the application to be approved under delegated powers.

The result is a fantastic scheme for the local community to enjoy which will rejuvenate an otherwise derelict space. For further information about this project or to find out how we can help with your proposals please get in touch.

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