TOWNSPEOPLE are being asked to have their say on the future of a 50-year-old town centre playground, which could be refurbished or relocated.

What happens to Chippenham Mead playground beside Monmouth School for Boys and the A40 dual carriageway has provoked fierce debate for four years, with £85,000 previously set aside for the development.

A new report to Monmouthshire County Council’s (MCC) Cabinet is proposing refurbishment of the current site, with the removal of the grass bank which obscures it from the rest of the playing fields.

But the Friends of Chippenham Mead – formed by Monmouth mum-of-five Rachel Jupp, wife of well known comedian Miles Jupp – has called for it to be relocated away from the pollution and noise of the A40 to a clearly visible site near the Waitrose car park.

A ‘Don’t Hide Our Slide’ petition calling for “a better site for (Monmouth’s) flagship playground on the village green” raised more than 500 signatures, and there is bound to be renewed debate over the new proposal.

Comments on the plan must be provided by 5pm on Thursday, January 18, and Cllr Bob Greenland, Monmouthshire’s Cabinet member with responsibility for leisure, said: “This issue has generated strong opinions in the town over an extended period and it is important that the decision-making report put before cabinet captures the full range of views so that an informed decision is made.”

The council report is proposing spending an extra £17,000 on developing the playground, adding to the £85,000 available from housing development payments.

Opinions have been split on whether to relocate the site, with the town council opposed to moving it in the past.

The report notes that as a registered village green, any move to another area of ‘Chippy’ would have to be referred to the Welsh Government, which could take considerable time and money.

“Having reviewed the submission made by the Friends of Chippenham Mead and the representations received, officers are recommending that the play area should be refurbished in its current location, but that the footprint of the play area should be altered,” it adds.

Proposals include remodelling the earth bank to make it more visible to the rest of ‘Chippy’, putting up an acoustic fence to reduce noise from the A40 and redirecting the path around the playground.

It says “the upgrading works are long overdue as the existing play area is in poor condition and the play equipment offers very little play value.”

Anyone who wants to have their say on the county council’s proposal should e-mail Mike Moran at [email protected] or write to Mike Moran, Monmouthshire County Council, County Hall, Usk, NP15 1GA

The report is available on the council’s website,