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Guidance on what to consider when planning your play area and how to report damage, accidents or problems with play equipment

Report a problemGuidance when planning your play area or youth facility

Report a problem

We maintain many play areas across Somerset, including some for local parish councils.

We will respond quickly to reports of broken equipment, vandalism, or broken glass.

To report damage to a playground, accidents, or a problem with play equipment, please complete the general enquiries online form.

We will visit the site to make the place safe and check what work is needed. We carry out small repairs and remove graffiti on site, but if larger repairs are needed, they will be carried out at our main depot.

Guidance when planning your play area or youth facility

This is general guidance on what you should consider when planning a play area or youth facility project for your community. This will help you install good quality equipment that will last, and which you can easily maintain.

  • Installation of quality equipment: This needs to meet EN1176 Play Equipment and EN1177 Safety Surfacing standards
  • A good design: Experience play companies can assist with this. You can also look at other parish play areas for completed recent projects, or contact the Parish Clerk for good practice information. You should also consider landscaping environment, furniture, signage, and accessibility of the area
  • Support for your project: Have you consulted the Parish Council and residents to establish what equipment is required for the project? You should talk through your ideas with the Parish Council in the first instance.
  • Insurance implications: Check this with your insurance company
  • Regular inspections: Industry standards strongly suggest the following:
    • Weekly inspection – routine
    • Quarterly inspection – operational
    • Annual inspection – annual

Routine inspection is a visual inspection and can be carried out by any competent person, training is advised and is usually a one-day course. Somerset Council offer a service to carry out weekly and quarterly inspections. There are other companies that also provide this service.  Annual inspections are carried out by qualified play inspectors.

Please email locality@somerset.gov.uk if you require further information on play inspections.

  • Maintenance costs: A sinking fund for ongoing maintenance is advisable. Equipment generally lasts for around 20 years before replacement is required. Parishes can precept for maintenance costs and funding can also be in the form of Section 106 commuted sums, if this has been requested from a recent planning development in your parish
  • Repairs and maintenance: Issues will be picked up following inspections and will need to be actioned. Maintenance will also include regular cutting of grass, litter picking and emptying of bins
  • Funding your project: Check to see if there is any Section 106 funding available

Last reviewed: May 1, 2024 by Daniel

Next review due: November 1, 2024

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