Case Study

Britton Street

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Working in partnership with Medway Council and local residents, Groundwork Kent & Medway undertook a project to help improve the area around the flats in Britton Street, Gillingham.

The project was based at the lower end of Britton Street, between Lock Street and the High Street, and focused on the open space around the flats, the road and the car parking areas.

Work began on the project during the summer of 2002 with a community colsultation to gather views of the estate from residents both young and old to ascertain what it was that they would like to see improved in the area.

The main points to come out of the consultation were as follows;

  • Clay tiles being knocked off the buildings due to ball games
  • Nowhere safe for small children to play
  • Disused drying spaces outside each manor were littered with parked cars and unsafe for children
  • Poor signage to the flats
  • Entrances not working properly
  • Windows needing replacment

Suggestions for environmental improvements included an increase of colour, play facilities for toddlers and young people, and more seating to transform the area into a safe and vibrant place, were people will want to live.

Groundwork responded to the environmental issues with Phase 1 of the project, designing a rubber surfaced ball court with three metre height fencing, a toddlers play area, again with colourful rubber surfacing. Seating for parents sits beside the ball court, and residents helped with planting around the facility and along the street itself helping to soften the harsh built environment.

As with all Groundwork projects residents of all ages and abilities will be given plenty of opportunity to get involved with the project throughout its duration. Regular residents meetings were held and a neighbourhood newsletter was designed to keep everyone informed about the project. Pupils from local Byron Road Primary School were also involved, using the area as a case study for their Geography work. During the course of their work they carried out a number of sketch designs for the area, which were then displayed as an additional consultation tool during the wider consultation undertaken by Groundwork.

Phase 2 of the project begun, to design and build four community gardens, and after more consultation construction work took place throughout the Winter of 2004. Resident design workshops were held for each manor, resulting in individually tailored secure garden designs, all with social area, play/drying area and a quiet place.

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Area during and after construction of ball court and toddlers play area

Britton Street Play Area     Britton Street Play Area

Community Garden as construction begins

Britton Street Gardens

Completed Community Garden

Britton Street Gardens

 

Groundwork Kent & Medway
48 Canterbury Street
Gillingham
Kent ME7 5UN

T 01634 855166
F 01634 855177
E [email protected]