Tandridge District Council (TDC) has been awarded £1.3 million for the maintenance and development of Queen’s Park in Caterham. The money comes from the Community Infrastructure Levy, a charge that can be placed by local authorities on new developments which then goes towards improving infrastructure in the area.
It will be used to fund a number of important projects within Queen’s Park, including the upkeep of playground equipment and a flood alleviation scheme, with the latter being managed by Surrey County Council (SCC).
A series of improvements will also be made to the park’s 25 acres of land, such as enhancing footpaths and fencing, improving toilet facilities and planting new trees to increase biodiversity.
Friends of Queen’s Park (FQP), a group of locals whose aim is to protect the park, was critical in helping to secure this funding. The Friends conducted a park user survey in 2023 and wrote a detailed letter of support, both of which were submitted as part of the application for the funding.
Chair of FQP Rachel Starling said she was ‘delighted’ that the council will finance the development of the park:
“It was an amazing turn of events and a real endorsement of the Friends’ and the community’s involvement, which certainly has helped achieve this funding.”
“It is really important that this money has been received, to help restore this very popular park to the jewel in the crown of Tandridge District Council’s parks, following years of under-investment.”
In 2021, TDC embarked on their Open Spaces Strategy, which sought to improve green spaces across the district but, due to planning and funding issues, progress on Queen’s Park stalled. When developments were made, they hindered residents’ ability to use the park, according to Rachel.
“The park was renowned for its very popular and innovative playground area, but sadly this has suffered from prolonged closures for repairs in recent years.”
Now, Rachel says, FQP is a ‘key consultee on the works’ and is already working with TDC regarding the proposed design.
FQP was set-up in March 2023 and has since amassed over 150 members. It has a strong community ethos, with local involvement at its heart, which is only made possible by its supporters. It is free to join, but donations are welcomed.
Donations can be made by bank transfer to: A/C no: 69937868, Sort Code: 30-99-50.