New pirate-themed play park inspired by child's drawing opens in Milton Keynes

A new children’s play park, which was inspired by a little girl’s drawing of pirates, has opened in MK.

By Sally Murrer
Monday, 6th June 2022, 11:16 am

The park opened last week in the Lakes Estate in Bletchley as part of the Milton Keynes Council’s major regeneration programme for the area.

Centred around a theme of pirates, it was designed from a drawing by Bella, a pupil at Drayton Park Primary School.

Cllr Emily Darlington, the council’s Cabinet member for Adults, Housing and Healthy Communities, opened the park with Bella as a VIP guest..

Cllr Emily Darlington and Bella open the pirate play park on the Lakes Estate

She said: “I really enjoyed opening the new play park with Bella and seeing her vision for the area come to life. Regeneration is much more than just building new homes and these play parks empower local children and give th em the opportunities to learn and grow.”

She added: “We’ve got big ambitions for the Lakes Estate and I look forward to continuing our work with the local community to deliver on the proposals they voted for.”

A jungle-themed park on nearby Grassmere Way re-opened earlier this year and work is also being carried out to improve two other play areas on the estate.

As part of the Lakes Estate regeneration plan, MK Council has vowed to create new community courtyards, public green spaces and also improve cycling routes.

It is currently in the process of selecting a preferred contractor for the first build phase, which includes 202 new council homes and new shops.

The new eco homes will replace the dilapidated 1960s-built Serpentine Court flats, which will be demolished. The new complex will come complete with courtyards and play areas .

All the proposals were given planning consent in 2020, following three years of engagement with the local community

More than 90% of voters sought to demolish Serpentine Court, where living conditions were once described as almost vomit-inducing' by a councillor.

Cllr Alan Rankine was describing a visit made to the flats in 2019. He outlined concerns with pests, condensation, "cockroaches feeding on silverfish,” and rubbish.

Once final costs have been approved by the council in the autumn, it is expected that a contractor will be appointed and start onsite by the end of 2022.