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Delays to Pebble Mill Playing Field Construction Work

The completion of the work on Pebble Mill Playing Field has been delayed until Spring/Summer 2025, a year later than originally intentioned. We have invited the Environment Agency to the next Open Meeting on the 21st of May to discuss. Their full statement is:

The original programme was for construction to finish November 2023 - Landscaping to complete Spring 2024 for the fields to hopefully be in a state to re-open Summer 2024.

The unseasonable wet weather has resulted in the ground being saturated to a point that any heavy machinery would severely damage the fields. We have been assessing the ground weekly to plan returning to site, and at the moment it seems that the ground will likely be dry enough by mid-late April. This would mean the reprofiling of the ground, provided it dries out, could be completed by May 2024. Unfortunately this does also knock on the final landscaping, with the seeding and tree planting now looking like Autum this year as planting over summer can significantly reduce germination, and therefore reopening to public Spring/Summer 2025, a year later than originally intentioned.

I appreciate the current fencing isn’t the most appealing, so after the ground reprofiling has been completed (hopefully May), this will be replaced with shorter, post and wire fencing with its purpose to allow any seeding to take hold without being disturbed by field users. Should the growing seasons be favourable to us, the re-opening can be brough forward, however I don’t want to make any assurances until we have a better idea of conditions.

To expand a little on the water logging, once the ground has been reprofiled, the low point of the whole field will be where we have dropped the path, so any surface water should just drain off the fields in this direction. In addition to the original design, we will be formalising some ground water drainage we installed under the lowered path during construction to further aid drainage. This will be tied into the two existing land drains that run lengthways south to north in the field (one is in the centre and one along the foot of the path). This should further improve the drainage. It is however worth mentioning that the existing land drains within the field owned by BCC are quite old and damaged in places, so they will not be operating to their pull potential.


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