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The U.K is in the midst of a house building boom, with government officials estimating a minimum of 200,000 homes a year will need to be built for the foreseeable future, to keep up with current demand levels. Good quality, well designed and properly installed public spaces are essential for the success of modern housing developments, adding significant value to a new estate and improving the well being of inhabitants.

Three Categories of play

New development play areas

Play areas for new developments often for into three distinct categories, the Local Area of Play (LAP), the Local Equipped Area of Play (LEAP) and a Neighbourhood Equipped Area of Play (NEAP).

LAP

A LAP is the smallest of these categories, and is aimed at younger children.
Key features of a LAP include:

  • Being positioned on a well used pedestrian route, within 1 minute walking time of most users
  • Minimum of 100 m2 activity space recommended •
  • Sign installed, advising the area is intended for children’s play, and that no dogs are allowed •
  • Aimed at children 6 years old and younge

LEAP

A LEAP is the middle sized design of the three categories, and typical features include:

  • An activity zone of at least 400 m2
  • A reasonably flat surface with good drainage, and suitable safety surfacing for the existing equipment
  • Introduces challenging play features, with at least 6 different aspects of play included (e.g swinging, sliding, climbing)
  • Suitable space for active play around all installed playground equipment
  • Adequate seating and bins should be provided

NEAP

A NEAP is the largest size design of the three categories, and typical features include:

  • Positioned on an easily accessible pedestrian Route
  • A recommended activity one of at least 1000 m2, of which a hard surface area should account for 465 m2
  • Suitable space for active play around all installed playground equipment
  • A minimum of 9 different aspects of play are recommended, featuring play items suitable for younger children, as well as more challenging and stimulating activities for older children
  • Adequate seating and bins should be provided

Thanks so much for the great work on the new play area, It’s great – they’ve been queuing to use the new birds nest swing!

Redlynch Parish Council

The playground is great, thank you for getting it done on time.

Hindu Temple, London
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