Timeline of the playpark saga

Want to read more?

At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?


Subscribe Now

Friends of Oban Community Playpark has produced a timeline of events from starting in August 2015.

August 2015
Wicksteed onsite to mark out drainage lines for Phase 1 of big playpark.

September 2015
The first turf is lifted when drainage work starts.

November 2015
The opening party is hosted by Atlantis Community Leisure (despite phase one of park not being open due to wet and mud).

February 2016
Phase one of playpark for five- to 15-year-olds was opened on February 12.

March 2016
Swing seat removed from ‘old’ (under-fives) playpark and access gate padlocked with no communication from A&B Council.

May 2016
A&B Council install two bins and a new self-closing gate to allow safe access to the green field.

September 2016
After a health and safety inspection, all playparks are closed by A&B Council on September 28.

October 2016
Meeting between Wicksteed, Bounceback and FoOCP on October 6 regarding big playpark flooring but no input from A&B Council.
Meeting on October 27 with A&B Council, Wicksteed and FoOCP to agree short- and long-term actions regarding the flooring in the big playpark.
Garden upgrade is done by Wicksteed, installing a new path and border edging, chainsaw carvings, musical items, mirrors, a talking tube, memorial benches, new fencing and gate.

November 2016
Temporary fixes done on flooring in big playpark by Wicksteed.
A&B Council open garden and under-fives playpark on November 8 and big playpark on November 22, but leave fence between garden and big playpark.

December 2016
Fence comes down between garden and big playpark December 9.

February 2017
French drain installed on the green field parallel to the metal fence by A&B Council.

April 2017
A&B Council part clear the under-fives playpark on April 5 and close the playpark on April 28.

June 2017
Under-fives, phase three opening party postponed until September due to delay in the tender being awarded.

July 2017
July 12 sees meeting with Allan MacDonald and Stuart McCracken from A&B Council and Nick Wesley from Atlantis to discuss maintenance, litter and the flooring in the big playpark. The maintenance inspections have not been done regularly enough, for example, the zip wire is broken beyond repair.
July 17: Wicksteed onsite to start phase three build.

November 2017
November 29: Zipwire fixed by Wicksteed (two-and-a-half months after parts delivered, five months after problem highlighted).

March 2018
Big playpark closed on 16th due to problems with flooring.

June 2018
Update from council in response to public complaints.

‘Can I first of all apologise that you have had cause to complain, unfortunately not long after we took over the running of the playpark we identified safety issues with the surface of the park caused by water ingress.

‘We immediately installed additional drainage in an attempt to alleviate the problem but to no avail. The problem eventually became so serious that we had no alternative but to close the park as a safety precaution.

‘My colleagues have been in discussion with the contractors to resolve the problem quickly but these discussions have taken longer than anticipated, as a result a decision has been taken to use a local contractor to carry out remedial work on the surface so that we can have it up and running over the summer period.

‘After discussion with a contractor today, I anticipate the park being open within the next two weeks.’

July 2018
Independent assessor onsite to test big playpark flooring.

August 2018
Rocking sea-horse in under-fives area is barriered off.

Update from A&B Council (from Allan McDonald to Lyndsay Elliott)
‘It is anticipated that the temporary works will be completed within two weeks from the start date. The start date will be confirmed in due course and we will advise you of the date as soon as it is known.

‘We appreciate the delay has been frustrating for you and everyone who helped raise funds for the park, as well as the families who cannot wait to take their children to the park. We share those frustrations and we are grateful for the support of the Friends of Oban Playpark in getting us this far. Without that support, the project would simply not have been possible.’

OUTSTANDING ISSUE – no signage from A&B Council stating opening hours etc.