It’s out with the old and in with the new as work to flatten an old Hawick playpark is getting under way.
The play area at Volunteer Park in Buccleuch Road has provided free thrills and spills for a generation of town youngsters, but it was considered past its sell-by-date and all the facility’s play equipment is now being removed in preparation for clearance of the site.
Its demolition will enable an extension to the existing car-parking provision in the park to be created, providing 36 much-needed additional spaces.
Once the play equipment is removed, the area will be covered with an asphalt surface, and the existing footpath will be raised and widened along the south-west boundary of the site, linking i to a new footpath serving a bridge across the River Teviot.
Five trees will also need to be trimmed to accommodate those works.
The work has started just a week after the opening, a short distance away, of a new £300,000 play area in Wilton Lodge Park.
A stipulation for the clearance of the Volunteer Park site was that work should not go ahead until the new play facility was in operation to ensure there was no loss of leisure facilities in that part of town.
Approval for the demolition work was only agreed last week by the council’s chief planning office, Julie Hayward, using delegated powers.
The proposals opens up public views of the adjoining parks.
The new car park will also have a role in allowing easier access to Wilton Lodge Park, now becoming an ever more significant attraction.
Ms Hayward said: “The existing access from the A7 would be utilised to serve the car park, and this has recently been upgraded as part of the 3G pitch provision.
“The proposal would provide 36 spaces parking spaces to serve the existing facilities within the park and the 3G pitch.
“No objections were received from Transport Scotland or the council’s roads planning service.
“It would result in improved public parking and access to Volunteer Park and Wilton Lodge Park facilities.
“The proposal would not have a detrimental effect on the visual amenities of the area, residential amenities, nature conservation sites or protected species.”