Local primary school pupils help launch Furrell’s park at Rochester Riverside
Friday 24th March, Rochester Riverside – Furrell’s Park at Rochester Riverside, Countryside Partnerships’ and the Hyde Group’s £419m regeneration scheme, has today (Friday 24th March) been officially opened by local primary school pupils, marking a major step in the health and wellbeing amenities on offer at the 1,400-home scheme.
Providing a new space for residents and guests to play and keep fit, the new waterside park at Rochester Riverside was officially opened today by pupils from Rochester Riverside primary school alongside the Joint Venture partners delivering the scheme Countryside Partnerships and Hyde Housing. The Easter Bunny was on hand to welcome the pupils into the park and following an official ribbon cutting ceremony by Countryside’s Danny Wood and Hyde’s Mike Finch, the children enjoyed the new play equipment which is now open for the public to enjoy.
The opening of Furrell’s Park marks a key milestone for Rochester Riverside as the scheme draws closer to completing the 500th home on site, reaching a third of the total development completed.
The name Furrell’s relates back to a historic creek or wharf and the layout for the park is strongly influenced by the River Medway and the natural fluid forms that it displays. The park incorporates themes that reflect the natural and cultural heritage of the area, such as costal grasses, timber and banked landform create an exciting space which responds to its context. Furrell’s Park was included within the scheme to create meaningful play opportunities and create a recognisable ‘sense of place’ which encourages a positive social interaction and assists in improving health and wellbeing of the local community.
The play equipment and path networks provide safe opportunities for children to undertake physical activity and the native trees and shrubs provide a buffer between the residential development and the park creating an important green corridor for wildlife.
The addition of the park to the landscaping and urban environment promotes healthy lifestyles, with the design informed by Sports England Active Design principles, playing a vital role in health and wellbeing. This supports the high standards set by the Housing Learning and Improvement Network by emphasising the need to health-considerate design and offers residents a great opportunity to stay fit and healthy, linking to the water and open spaces.
This milestone follows the completion of the regeneration scheme’s Phase’s 1 and 2 in September last year, delivering 331 new homes along with a hotel, food store and coffee shop, and Phase 3 is currently underway and upon completion will deliver 171 new homes and new public areas around the famous dockside Blue Crane, with residents already moved in. Most recently, the JV partners had their planning application approved for Phase 7 of the scheme, paving the way for the creation of a further 154 homes.
At Rochester Riverside, Countryside Partnerships and Hyde are delivering a new mixed-tenure community of up to 1,400 new homes with a primary school, nursery, as well as a hotel, commercial units, open green spaces, and landscaping over 12 years, delivering much needed mixed-tenure homes for the local community.
Danny Wood, Managing Director, Partnerships South, Countryside Partnerships, said: “It has been fantastic to welcome local primary school pupils onto the wonderful new outdoor facility here at Rochester, a very fitting way to coincide with the beginning of Spring this week and longer daylight hours this weekend. Countryside Partnerships and its JV partner, Hyde Group, are committed to the delivery of long-term sustainable communities which create high quality new homes and the local facilities and outdoor spaces to support them.
Mike Finch, Hyde’s Regional Development Director – East said: “Parks like this are really important for neighbourhoods. I’m delighted that the young people of Rochester Riverside performed the opening of the waterside park as they are the community of the future and this is where they’ll meet friends and create memories.”