Proposals to create a splash park in Oswestry have taken a step forward after the town council agreed to commission a feasibility study.
Councillors voted in favour of setting aside £3,000 plus VAT for the study, to be carried out by Shrewsbury-based firm Ray Parry Playgrounds, at a meeting on Monday evening.
Depending on the outcome of this work, it is hoped the project can then be put out to public consultation after which the council will decide whether to progress with building the facility.
A number of potential locations within Cae Glas Park will be explored as part of the feasibility study, which will also set out the capital investment required and the potential running and maintenance costs.
Simon Cranmer, town council operations manager, told members the chosen company had previously worked on the splash parks in Shrewsbury’s Quarry and Telford Town Park.
Asked about the Shrewsbury facility, Mr Cranmer said: “In terms of the set out it’s good, there are things for kids of all ages from 18 months probably up to about 12 or 13 years.
“It’s a summer activity obviously so it operates between April and the end of September.
“As with all outdoor activities it’s very weather dependent, so on a hot August holiday day it’s absolutely packed, if it’s a chilly day in September and the weather is not great it’s quiet.
“I understand it’s quite water efficient because it recycles the water. They also fill it overnight, so water pressure – which is an issue in Cae Glas – isn’t such a problem.
“It can be themed around particular local points, so this one in Shrewsbury is called Darwin’s Island of Adventure and takes Charles Darwin’s journey into the Galapagos Islands as its inspiration.
“I think it’s a good facility, it’s really well-situated in that it’s well connected to the existing all-year-round play area so it feels quite secure and well set-up.”
Councillor Rosie Radford said she had been taking her children to the Quarry splash park for the last five years.
She said: “It brings people to that area in their hoards. It provides extra income for the ice cream and drinks facilities there. It is very, very popular and you struggle to get a space in the middle of summer.”
Concerns were raised about cleanliness and whether the facility would require a lot of maintenance, but Councillor Duncan Kerr, chairing the finance committee meeting, said these issued would be addressed by the consultants.
Councillor Mike Isherwood added: “The starting point with these things is a feasibility study, otherwise we are just talking about questions we can’t answer.
“We’ve said we are interested in doing this and to progress it any further we need a feasibility study.”
Councillors voted to approve the funds for the study.