Meads Recreation Ground in Shoreham is set for revamp
An important green space in the centre of Shoreham is set to benefit from new turf and improved drainage for sports activities – as well as upgraded play facilities and a plan to improve its biodiversity and wildlife value.
Adur District Council is supporting a plan to upgrade the Meads Recreation Ground using natural turf and significantly improved drainage following a consultation with residents.
The Meads includes an unenclosed space, which has a children’s play area and section which is used by Swiss Gardens Primary School between 9am and 4pm on school days and the public the rest of the time.
However, it has become worn with poor grass cover and uneven surface.
The district council owns the site but leases the enclosed school field to the education authority West Sussex County Council.
Working together, the authorities decided to ask local residents and the school what they wanted to see on the site.
Among 265 responses, an option for a 3G pitch had strong support, in particular for its year-round availability for the school’s sports activities, including football, rugby, cricket and athletics.
Many also favoured improved turf with better drainage for the sports area – and put forward ideas and activities aimed at improving biodiversity and encouraging wildlife – including more trees and wildflower planting.
Most residents said they considered the Meads as a quiet and peaceful natural space with abundant wildlife such as bats and foxes often evident – and there was also support among allotment holders for better access, improved drainage and upgraded facilities.
Councillor Emma Evans, district council’s executive member for the environment, said: “We know the Meads is a much-loved and much-needed open space in Shoreham so it was only right to consult as widely as we could about future needs for the ground.
“While we knew we could not satisfy every party I think we have the next solution for the majority which is a new natural surface with improved drainage for the School, continued access to the space for residents and a real emphasis on improving biodiversity, recognising the wildlife value of this important green space.”
If the county council gives the final go-ahead to fund the project, the district council said it will work with the school and community to draw up a plan to significantly enhance the entire area.
As part of this approach, its intention would be to help establish a Friends Group for the Meads to help guide the improvements and the work to enhance biodiversity.