Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Palmer Park to be tested for safety for more events #rdg

The area to the north of the stadium in Palmer Park is to be tested by a ground stability specialist with a view to having more events. See the briefing I got below for more information.
"Ref: Ground testing Palmer Park:
The Parks service has requested that a 13,000 sqm area at Palmer Park be tested by a ground stability specialist (as attached plan), Mat Labs, to establish if it is safe to have vehicles, heavy equipment and events use this area. Testing will take 4 working days and commence on Thursday 24th May. This will involve hammering rods into the ground to test its strength and stability, in areas where ground radar has previously indicated some ground disturbance.
In the 1980’s underground chalk mines became evident beneath the surface of Palmer Park with a number of areas of parkland partially collapsing/sinking.
Work was undertaken to survey the ground around these holes and works completed (as required) to strengthen the ground.
As a result of the above issue, it was decided (for health & safety reasons) that RBC would suspend large scale event activity on site.  This caused the car boot sales, fun fairs and circus to be displaced and accommodated at other venues across the town. Such events were missed by some within the community that visited them and requests continue for their reintroduction.
Current position
There is a rising demand both within the community and from event operators to reintroduce event activity to this site.
This would be both cost effective and serve to provide leisure activities that add to the local leisure programme aimed principally at East Reading and university area.
The area selected for probe testing is located to the west of Palmer Park stadium.  Should the ground in this area prove to be stable, it would reprovide a venue for community and leisure events. This is further from neighbouring residential properties than the original area used for car boots, circuses and similar activity. The parks service has registered interest from fun fair, Circus and Festival operators that could provide a number of activities across the year.
Further consideration
The decision to withdraw large events from Palmer Park was taken in consultation with the Council’s Health & Safety team through risk assessment.  The parks service will review the findings of the probe testing with colleagues form corporate Health & Safety to establish whether the park could restart hosting events."

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