Pitsmoor Adventure Playground

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					Pitsmoor Adventure Playground

Planning Brief Introduction and Background History

Pitsmoor Adventure Playground is widely recognised as a valuable added value
resource for the development and engagement of children, young people and
parents within Burngreave.

The land the playground is built on was granted in perpetuity for use by children
and the community for play by the Duke of Norfolk. And in the early 1980s (late
1970s?) local residents raised money to build the adventure playground there,
helping to build the equipment themselves. Fond memories of the playground
now cross generations, as residents who played there as children, now take their
own children there.

The facility is managed by Sheffield City Council, but the playground still has
strong community support and involvement. The current Playground Users
Group was constituted in 2001, when residents became involved to support the
work of the playground, and to help renew the aging equipment and building. The
group fundraises for trips, activities and play structures, and have helped build
new equipment. The users group worked with the Council to install a new kick
pitch, this was seen as phase one of developments that would eventually lead to
a new playground building.

The playground supports children and young people, who sometimes find them
selves in difficult situations and often have no place else to hangout. The
playground is a sanctuary for some young people, and it’s a place were they can
have fun, socialise, work in teams, and gain access to positive excursions and
experiences in the safe and secure environment provided by the staff.

Many local adults who once played on the playground as disengaged young
people, site its positive environment as life changing for the better when they
recall their play experiences there as youngsters – the playground can at times
be an essential lifeline for some kids.

Location

The playground is situated in a residential area, but is flanked by Burngreave
cemetery, with listed architecture, and by a valuable green space in Burngreave
Rec. Because of its location, the area has struggled, at times, with criminal
activity, with some drug dealing and misuse of cars. Any building would need to
be secure.

Traditionally the playground building has been customisable by the kids inside
and out, by the use of paint murals walls etc, also the buildings rooftop could be
used unusually as an outside play area and the building itself has a feeling of
belonging to the kids and staff.


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Other stakeholders and consultation

The playground is surrounded by active residents groups, Friends of Burngreave
Cemetery and Chapel, Melrose Road Residents Association and Friends of
Burngreave Rec. Byron Wood School is a close neighbour, with many parents
walking their children to school past the playground via the steep public footpath
next to the cemetery.

The youth project, Streetworx, have recently started a pilot project to open the
playground later in the evening two nights a week for young people over 14
years. They will be using the building and kick pitch.

The design process should involve direct users, but there should also be
consultation with wider stakeholders. While we don’t expect the architects to
organise this consultation, for it to be effective we need their involvement and
commitment to take note of what comes out of this process.

Design Style

The building should be welcoming for children, parents and young people. The
design should be child centred, while being functional for the staff to manage,
and without neglecting the needs of older children. The design should be
inspiring for children and unusual or iconic. The building should not feel like
school, or even like home. The design should inspire support from the
community as well as potential funders. The design should be in keeping with the
playground, and its purpose of providing a fun safe place for children, whilst not
detracting from the natural environment and the neighbouring listed architecture.

We would like other buildings to be looked at which are creatively produced on
small budgets - and other adventure playgrounds to be researched to see their
solutions to buildings.

What we hope to achieve

We hope the process will lead to a long-lasting playground building that is robust
and easy to use. We hope it will be a building which allows play to continue
when the weather is bad, or it’s too dark to play on the equipment outside. We
also hope it will be a building the children and community love, and for it attract
support from children and the community for generations to come.

All of the above points all should be carefully considered in moving forward
towards an optimum design solution.




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Pitsmoor Adventure Playground: Design Brief
The “Brief” below follows the headings of the Sheffield Design and Project
Management “Scheme Commissioning Document. Outline Client Brief”

Aims and Objectives of the project

To re-furbish or replace the existing indoor facility at Pitsmoor Adventure
Playground, to create a robust, functional space appropriate to its setting as part
of the Adventure Playground.

In many ways the current building is suitable for its purpose:
    It’s robust and allows children a pretty free range in terms of activities and
      ability to make it their own.
    It has one room, which means that it is easily supervised. It’s all on one
      level which also means that it is easily supervised and that there doesn’t
      need to be a lot of sace taken up with stairs and lifts.
    There is a large doorway out on to the Adventure Playground which
      means that you can see most of the Playground from the building, and
      that children can come in and out freely.
    It’s an unusual building unlike school or home
    There is a roof-space to play on

However there are some serious drawbacks:
   It’s gloomy; poorly insulated and therefore cold; in a poor state of repair
     with at least one leak.
   The available play space is too small
   The toilets are inadequate
   There is insufficient staff/office space
   There is insufficient storage (and what there is, is in an inappropriate
     container)
   When it rains, the rain comes in through the door space
   Difficult disability access to the site and therefore the building

What do we want to be able to use play space for (not all at once!):
   More than one activity at a time: eg art and craft, computer games, pool,
      table tennis, indoor games
   Music playing, drumming, sound system
   Sweet cupboard, preparation of food and drinks
   Library with books
   Chill out space, study space?
   Parents and toddlers
   Parties/events
   Meetings
   Graffiti wall




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In addition we need:
     Toilets
     Storage
     Office/staff space
     Kitchen area

Scope of the Project

To replace/re-furbish the indoor facility at the Pitsmoor Adventure Playground

There has already been considerable discussion around this project, and in
particular there are issues with the Planning Authority and with creating access
for people with disabilities. We need to try and resolve these issues.

Can the objectives outlined above be met by extending/replacing the current
single story building, which would be our preference, our do we need to consider
a two story building?

We need a multi-use play space. So how do we get it so that a variety of
activities can take place, and yet we have a large space when required. One
room or two rooms? Partitioning?

The Adventure Playground has been mainly used by 8-13 year old children, but
current developments are extending the use by under 5s (a new play area has
been installed), and to 14-19 year olds in the evenings. Routinely there are 30-
40 people using the Adventure Playground, and on special occasions this rises to
as much as 250.

The process needs to include user (young people) consultation and a process
where young people are involved in shaping the work as it develops.


Financial Constraints

There will be a funding application for up to £200,000 to BNDfC.

This will need to be at least matched.

A realistic overall figure is probably £4 – 500,000.




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