Cash paid to Thanet council two years ago for disabled-friendly play areas may finally be used

The money was for new or upgraded play facilities accessible for all abilities

Cash given to Thanet council by the developers of the former Hereson school site as a contribution for disabled-friendly play areas may finally get used – two years after it was paid.

Abbey Development Ltd received permission in 2012 to demolish the Hereson school building, formerly Holy Cross school, and build 150 homes in its place.

The development off Ramsgate Road in Broadstairs, which was first discussed in 2008 just prior to the merger of Hereson Boys and Ellington Girls schools in a new building in Newlands Lane, is now complete.

An agreement for developer contributions was signed in 2011, with a variation document signed in 2012.

The contributions outlined were:

£134,170 for the provision of new or replacement sports and play facilities or upgrading current facilities (in Broadstairs)

£7,185 adult changing facilities at Westwood Cross

£600,000 replacement or upgrading of community facilities in Broadstairs

£8,645 book stock for Broadstairs Library

There was also an agreement for affordable housing which included rented homes through Moat and shared ownership properties.

Cash for the new or upgraded play areas was received by TDC on 6 October 2015.

The plan was to make play areas such as Pierremont Park accessible for disabled youngsters but the money, £134,170, has still not been spent.

Funding must be used within 5 years of receipt or it reverts back to the developer.

But TDC say a tender process for the project will begin next month.

A spokesman said: “I can confirm that, to date, the money has not yet been spent.

“The play areas are being reviewed in order to address current and future needs. Plans for an initial tender process will begin in the next month.”

The Isle of Thanet News was directed to submit a Freedom of Information request to find out whether the other financial contributions have been received and spent.

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