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New 8.5m climbing tower part of playground revamp at museum

PUBLISHED: 11:44 01 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:02 01 December 2019

The playground is set to be revamped at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Picture: Archant

The playground is set to be revamped at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Picture: Archant

Archant 2017

A new 8.5m climbing tower forms part of ambitious plans to revamp the playground at a popular Norfolk museum.

Plans to revamp playground area at Gressenhall Rural Life Museum. Photo of existing play equipment to be removed. Pictures: Planning documents/ NPSPlans to revamp playground area at Gressenhall Rural Life Museum. Photo of existing play equipment to be removed. Pictures: Planning documents/ NPS

Norfolk County Council's Museum Service wants to redevelop the playground at Gressenhall Rural Life Museum, near Dereham.

It will be the biggest makeover for the area in 15 years.

A planning statement prepared by the NPS Group, submitted with the plans, said: "It will involve removing the older play equipment, which is no longer for purpose.

"And providing a new 8.5m high play activity tower, 10.1m to the top of the flagpole, with slides and rope bridges linking to higher ground within the woodland area to the rear.

Plans to revamp playground area at Gressenhall Rural Life Museum. View of area where tower will be. Pictures: Planning documents/ NPSPlans to revamp playground area at Gressenhall Rural Life Museum. View of area where tower will be. Pictures: Planning documents/ NPS

"This will provide an enhanced play experience for children attending the museum."

It is also proposed to install and reposition a number of small items of play equipment including zip wires, toddler multi-play unit, little monkeys climbing frame, swings, tunnels, bridge and slide.

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These items and works would not normally require planning permission as they are classed as permitted development.

Plans to revamp playground area at Gressenhall Rural Life Museum. Possible new play equipment for site. Pictures: Planning documents/ NPSPlans to revamp playground area at Gressenhall Rural Life Museum. Possible new play equipment for site. Pictures: Planning documents/ NPS

However, as the smaller play equipment is to be installed at the same time as the activity tower, which requires planning permission as it is over 4m in height, they form part of the same project and planning permission has been requested for the all play equipment and works.

The planning document states: "It is considered important for Gressenhall Museum to enhance the provision of play equipment to attract more visitors and compete with other leisure destinations.

"The provision of the 8.5m high activity tower will provide an exciting and interesting play area for children visiting the museum with the aim of increasing visitor numbers and encouraging repeat trips.

"The replacement of play equipment will also seek to provide an enhanced recreation and leisure facility which will connect children's play with nature and support healthy lifestyles."

In conclusion, it says that the proposed play equipment will protect natural features, and landscape views.

The playground is to the south-west of the museum building and covers an area of about 0.28 hectares. There is play equipment on the grassed area to the front of the site.

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