Getting a community project off the ground can be a struggle. Searching out willing volunteers. Hours spent fund raising and filling in grant applications. It’s no surprise that many great community-led schemes run out of steam before they make it to the drawing board, let alone the planning department. Which makes it all the more satisfying when a community project does come to fruition. In this instance it’s a fantastic new ‘play-bridge’ for North Lodge Park, on the cliff tops at Cromer. There can hardly be a more dramatic setting for a play scheme and DCP has been delighted to offer a helping hand and play a key role in its realisation.
North Lodge Park opened to the public in May 1929. A popular community amenity from the outset, shrubs, benches and additional land were donated by residents or purchased by the Council to enhance the facility, creating a main and upper park, a boating pond, and cafe.
Although somewhat neglected over the years, new life was breathed into the main park with the formation of the Friends of North Lodge Park (FoNLP) in 2014. With considerable community support behind them, the FoNLP initially concentrated on reviving the tea rooms at the heart of the park. Following the success of this project, they turned their attention to improving the neglected and disconnected upper park; the priority being to create play facilities and an obvious link between the two areas of the park.
The solution, designed by Area Landscape Architects, was an innovative play-bridge. This 60m zig-zagged, ramped, wooden walkway, links the upper and main parks, and incorporates a viewing platform (and what a view!), seating, a climbing wall and slide and leads to other play facilities in the upper park.
Working with the Friends of North Lodge Park, North Norfolk District Council, Area Landscape Architects; John Plummer, Hodgson Engineering and Massey & Harris, on a pro-bono basis, DCP obtained planning permission, provided CDM, project management and contract administration services on the play-bridge project.
Commenting, Senior Partner, Robert Dale, said, “Social value initiatives are hugely important to Daniel Connal Partnership – giving back to the communities where we live and work. Collaborating with the wider team and such tireless and committed volunteers to get this project completed successfully, and in such a challenging year, has been extremely rewarding.”