Planning approval was granted by the Thanet District Council on the 16th May and will conserve and enhance the park. The entire project seeks to build community involvement and engagement, but also to promote civic pride.

Over 6,500 people have been consulted about the developments to the park, of which 85% advised they would like a café and toilet facilities. Ellington Park historically contained public toilets and a range of outbuildings for community use, such as summerhouses and shelters, however these shut down in 2013. The loss of these buildings has had a significant impact on the park, such as shorter visits and further travelling for food and refreshments.

The café design has been carefully considered to maximize the use of space and meet the needs of the community, whilst creating a modern look with key heritage features.

These features will include:

  • A single story, flat roof building, with knapped flint finish to match the Victorian boundary walls situated around the park
  • Windows and doors on 3 sides of the building with security shutters for night time protection
  • Accessible toilets and baby change facilities
  • Glazed frontage with concertina doors and a central opening
  • Modern kitchen with servery hatch for seasonal summer and winter use, with a take away option
  • Cafe seating and storage partition which will convert the café into a community events, workshop and education area

Cllr Rosanna Taylor-Smith, Cabinet member for Operational Services at Thanet District Council commented:
“This is excellent news for Ellington Park – the approved plans demonstrate a real vision for the park that reflects its importance to the local community. The proposals are a great response to the community consultation and show that the local residents and park users have been listened to. We will continue to support the hard work of the Friends of Ellington Park who are driving force behind the bid to restore and improve this historic open space.”

Beverley Perkins, Chair of the Friends of Ellington Park said:
“The Friends are so pleased that the project is progressing so well and we are looking forward to having a community space in the park. The café will give a plethora of opportunities for volunteers to learn new skills, and be involved in the workshops and events. We anticipate that it will be prove to be an integral part of our local community.”

This project is in the final stages of securing Heritage Lottery Funding, and includes the refurbishment of a Victorian bandstand and extensive re-landscaping works. The scheme is expected to start on site in 2019.

 

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