Priors Hall Park is a development by Urban & Civic in Corby, Northamptonshire, with over 5000 homes and eight play areas. Previously an ironstone quarry, it had an existing outline planning consent for 5,095 units, many of which are already built and occupied. The development is split into three residential phases with the new homes set within lakes, open parkland and forests.
The creation of green spaces for residents was a central requirement of the development, and Timberplay was asked to provide high-quality play spaces that would help promote health, wellbeing and build more cohesion across the new communities.
Timberplay created the design for eight play areas which are grouped across three distinct areas defined by their landscape characters. Each of these groups has an overall theme.
The ‘Town Garden’ play area includes play elements such as a Climbing Wall, Hexagonal Swing and Street Acrobats climbing feature. A Riko Railway on a track is loved by younger children for role playing.
The ‘Quarry’ site benefits from more landform, integrating great natural play features like mounds and boulders. The materials selection throughout the design replicates the heritage of the area, including mining and transporting stone, co-operation, teamwork and much more. A range of digging and transporting equipment is used within a gravel pit to replicate the way in which stone would have been extracted from the quarry. Boulders are used to great effect throughout the site, and a huge Turning Stone has been utilised, presenting an unusual focal point for the site.
The final landscape character area is known as the ‘Woodland Valley’. The huge vertical posts of the Climbing Forest, and the upright posts of the Partner Pendulum, are used to create a woodland feel, blending within the setting. There is also a wheelchair-accessible section with a fully accessible Wheelchair Seesaw alongside one of the Building Site platforms within a Play Gravel Pit. Other exciting play features in this area include the Giant Revolving Disc, Totter Trail and Twin See-Saw.
Throughout all the sites there is great provision for children of all ages and abilities, and planting and landform all go to create pleasant community spaces for all.
In addition to these play areas, there are also two dedicated fitness areas, once again designed by Timberplay but utilising Parkletics equipment. Parkletics is an innovative fitness system that works alongside an app, enabling individuals to create their own programs reflective of their capabilities and goals.