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Parish NewsTue, 7th July 2020

News  »  East Common play area proposal for sheltered seating

   East Common play area proposal for sheltered seating    July 31, 2015

The refurbished East Common play area has been open for over a year now and we are very pleased with the positive feedback that it has received. 


The original plan included a sheltered seating area within the play area, but a lack of space and funding meant this was not delivered at the time.


We have been made aware of a St Albans District Council initiative that allows areas within the district to trial shelters for 9 months and this has been successfully delivered recently in Harpenden, Wheathampstead and Sandridge. In each case, the shelter has been well used by families, dog walkers and young people and subsequently purchased by each local council.


St Albans District Council have offered the next shelter trial to Redbourn and Redbourn Parish Councillors are keen to take advantage of this great ‘try before you buy’ opportunity. The trial is a great way to assess the pros/cons of a shelter without Redbourn Parish Council incurring any costs and also help complete the original vision for the East Common play area.


If successful, Redbourn Parish Council will be given the option to purchase the shelter at a reduced rate. If it is unsuccessful, the shelter will be removed at the end of the trial or even sooner, if required.


Strict criteria applies for a location to be eligible for the trial and a flat grass area on the Hemel Hempstead Road side of the East Common play area has emerged as the most suitable for Redbourn. This site has been identified as it meets the need of parents supervising their children nearby as well as minimising impact on local residents. Please see the ‘Q & A’ section provided by St Albans District Council below, for more information.


If you would like to see or use the shelter it is currently located at the playground in Sherwood Avenue, Marshalswick, St Albans.


Please provide any feedback by 5pm on Monday 17th August 2015 either by emailing clerk@redbournparishcouncil.gov.uk or in writing to ‘The Clerk, Redbourn Parish Centre, The Park, Redbourn, Herts AL3 7LR’.




We’ve put together some answers to frequently asked questions, which we hope you’ll find useful.


Q         What exactly is a ‘Youth Shelter’ and why are they needed?

A         The youth shelter is a facility for young people to meet and take shelter when out in the open in the Districts parks and open spaces.

       In March 2011, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee established a cross-party working group to look at the future provision of youth shelters as a result of concerns regarding the lack of facilities for young people across the District.

The working group produced a report, Just Hanging Out, which identified a need to provide more facilities for young people who are not involved in clubs and organised activities. It recommended the provision of youth shelters, which enable young people to sit and talk with their friends in a social environment, as a way of meeting this need.

As a pilot scheme St Albans City and District Council purchased a portable youth shelter to trial for a 9/12 month period at various locations across the District, working in partnership with the Town/Parish  Council, local Police, Youth Groups and the local community.

To date the shelter has been located in Rothamsted Park, Harpenden, East Lane Car Park, Wheathampstead and is currently housed at Sherwood Park, Sandridge.


Q         Youth - what age group use the shelter?

A         From the evaluation of the last three locations this shelter is mainly used by 12 to 18 year olds, however along with the youth it has been used by walkers, families and a place to eat lunch whilst at work.


Q         What size is the shelter and how many can it accommodate?

A      The shelter is 3.5m high, 3.6m wide, 3.6m deep, weighs 1.25 tonnes, seats up to 22 people and has a solar powered light. Please see photograph taken of the shelter at Rothamstead Park.


Q         Does it require opening and closing?

A         No, the shelter is an open structure and available at all times.


Q        How will it be supervised for alcohol, litter, noise, music etc.,


The success of this facility at the two previous locations has been  

based on a model of clear local ownership. Therefore part of the engagement with the shelter is the suitability of the location, to meet certain criteria, including being viewed from the road or pathway and agreed by all who are in the vicinity of the shelter.

Once installed the police will supervise the shelter as part of their monitoring, on noise issues, drinking and smoking, general antisocial behaviour, litter, attempted graffiti and vandalism.  

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