AN ARTICLE FROM BIRMINGHAM MAIL
Residents in one of Wolverhampton’s most deprived neighbourhoods have given a huge thumbs up to a new £800,000 park being built near their homes.
The development, which includes a multi-purpose gaming zone, cricket pitch, adult gym equipment and a children’s play area, is taking shape on a large area of unused land off Ward Street and Coningsby Drive in Ettingshall.
Persimmon Homes last year completed the construction of Ettingshall Place – a 460-home estate housing an estimated 2,200 people, with the remainder of the land set aside for community green space.
With work due to be completed by spring – lockdown permitting – families living nearby can hardly contain their excitement at having the new park and all its facilities right on their doorsteps.
Randeep Singh Sagoo , who lives with his family near the park, said: “Every community needs a good reason to come together, and now we have ours – a wonderful piece of greenery that will give us a reason to say hello to others, where our children can play and our pets can meet other pets.
“How often do we hear people say that the days when children played out in the streets or went out on their bikes are long gone? That will all change now.
“Being a new dad and buying our first family home, hearing about the new park attracted us to the area even more. It will really bring the community together and help to unite people.
“Community spirit has been lost over the years and having technology at the forefront of everything, we sometimes forget that our local amenities have so much to offer within the community.
“I can’t wait for the park to open so that my wife and I are able to take our 10-month-old son over there so we can watch him play,” he added.
“These will be memories that I can capture and remember. We will be able to look back and also tell our son when he is older. The park is also something that future generations will be able to enjoy.”
Mother of three Edna Jardim, who runs her own cake-making business and originally hails from Venezuela, said she was thrilled that her children would finally have somewhere to play close to home.
“I am just so happy and excited about having this park on our estate. It’s so big and makes the whole area look so much nicer along with all the new houses.
“It also feels a lot safer to go out walking as well. I’m especially pleased because I now have somewhere to walk my dog, and my mother – who is 80 – can walk to our house very easily now because she lives nearby.
“My son loves to play basketball and now we have all this lovely new open space right in front of the house, so when all the children are out playing I won’t have to worry because I will be able to see them from the window.
“Before this new park started being built, we had to walk to the East Park so the children could play out. It’s further away and doesn’t have quite as good a reputation as this area does now,” she said.
“I’m very, very excited and can’t wait for it to be completely finished. I’m just so thrilled about the whole thing.”
Teacher Danielle Westwood , who moved to the UK from southern California 11 years ago to marry her partner Chris, from Kingswinford, said she was really pleased to finally have somewhere for the couple’s two young daughters to spend more time outdoors.
“We moved here from an older part of the estate around six years ago. Before that there was really nothing here,” she said.
“We’d been waiting for this park to happen and I’m so glad it’s finally here. It’s so much nicer now because we can go out walking as a family.
“All the rubbish that used to be here has been cleared away and there is no litter, no broken fences – which is what used to be here before.
“All the play equipment has been fitted and there are proper pathways for people to walk on. As a family we’re just so excited.
“This has made a huge difference to everyone and will be a great meeting point for local people. Our little estate really is so lovely now,” she added.
Chef Eleanor Reeve said: I’m absolutely thrilled that we will have a park locally. For one thing, it makes the neighbourhood look really bright and completely refreshed.
“It’s an absolute godsend for the children around here and will really help with strengthening community spirit.
“Everyone I know in Ettingshall is really grateful to all the people involved in making this happen, and in particular for considering the many children and young families living here,” she added.
Ettingshall councillor Beverley Momenabadi (Lab), who worked with the council last year to roll out a consultation asking residents what they would like the land to be used for, said the neighbourhood would be further improved with the planting of dozens of new trees, grassed areas, shrubs and flowers.
“It’s fantastic to see the park taking shape. I’m so excited to have been able to support this project which will bring such joy to people in the local area. It’s been an amazing journey to see this project go from consultation to reality.
“As I sat on the new swings during a recent visit, I felt hugely proud of what our council has achieved. This is a major boost for Ettingshall and Wolverhampton on the whole,” she said.