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Feedback sought for major Ashley Recreation Ground revamp

PEOPLE’S views are sought over a major quarter-of-a-million-pound scheme to enhance Ashley Recreation Ground.

Erecting a new youth building and store for the rugby club, as well as extending and refurbishing the existing play park, are the main parts of the planned project for the green, off Normans Way.

As reported in the A&T, the New Milton Town Council scheme is set to be fully funded by an allocation of nearly £270,000 in developers’ contributions, approved by New Forest District Council.

More than £270,000 of developers' contributions will fund the scheme (46184781)
More than £270,000 of developers' contributions will fund the scheme (46184781)

The small youth building will be the first built for this purpose since Hampshire County Council sold off long-time hub the Phoenix Centre in Culver Road in 2017.

Town council estates and facilities manager Mark Jeffries told an online amenities committee meeting it could be a steel-framed structure with some brick elements.

“It would be aesthetically pleasing while keeping within budget,” he said.

“It improves the rugby club’s storage while also providing a youth facility with space and an office.”

NFDC landscape architect Jill Colclough said a potential contractor’s play park proposal “hits the brief” for helping youngsters connect with the natural environment.

Plans would be displayed on-site and at newmiltontowncouncil.gov.uk to encourage feedback, but amenities chairman Cllr Geoffrey Blunden stressed a full public consultation stage had not yet been reached.

An extraordinary amenities meeting will be held via video conferencing service Zoom at 6.30pm on Tuesday 27th April for people to find out more and ask questions.

Cllr David Hawkins was concerned this did not allow enough time for them to “view and digest” the plans, but Cllr Blunden assured him there would be further opportunities to comment.

Members also welcomed town council administrator Joanna Hayward’s suggestion that a drop-in session be arranged at the site.

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