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Shopwyke Lakes Children's Workshop at March Primary School
On Friday 27 January 2012, a team from JTP ran a community planning workshop with children from the Year 6 at March Primary School in Chichester.
The lively and insightful workshop followed on from the Shopwyke Lakes Community Planning Weekend held on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th July 2011. The aim of the workshop was to hear children's views and ideas for the Shopwyke Lakes site development.
The morning started with a post-it workshop where children were asked what the good and bad things are in the area and how it could be improved. The main issues were related the large volume of traffic, especially around Bognour roundabout and its negative impact on getting to and back from school. One of the children cycles to school every day - a brave effort considering the volumes of traffic on the A27 she has to cross. Other issues included lack of cycle paths in the area, lack of parking and flooding on the A27.
Many good things emerged about the area - it was felt that it is as a safe place with many outdoor, sports and leisure activities. Many enjoy going to nearby Goodwood that offers various leisure activities and facilities and to town centre that has a good choice of shops and restaurants. Many children are actively involved in various sports activities including horse riding, swimming and rugby.
At the last part of the post-it workshop children were asked to think about their dreams in relation Chichester as a whole. Their wishes included better cycle paths, more shops, community café, more parks, more horse riding stalls, bigger swimming pool and a theme park among others.
After a short break the day continued with hands on planning session where children were split up in four groups to work around the area and site maps discussing such topics as getting about, landscape design and location of community facilities and amenities. Each group then presented their results back to the class. Most groups had decided to place sports facilities on flat ground to the north of the site, put ecological and wildlife areas around the lakes and had housing grouped overlooking the lakes. Shops and recycling facilities were grouped nearby the housing. One group looked specifically at the cycle paths and how they could be improved on the way to school and into the town centre - they said bridges over the A27 would have a very positive impact on their journeys to school and weekend trips.
The day finished with the drawing session where children were asked to draw their dreams and present back to the class. Their dreams included Shopwyke Park with diverse wildlife, dream house designs, leisure parks and horse stables among many others.
To conclude, interesting outcome was that children had similar ideas to adults at the Community Planning Weekend in June.