An Evolving Park - Plans and Reports

With growing prosperity as the war years faded, the park saw some developments in the 1960s and 1970s as opportunities arose. They included the zoo which opened in 1962, the indoor swimming pool in 1965, the Mayflower Leisure Centre in 1970 and levelling areas to the north of Coronation Avenue for football pitches in 1975. The developments led to arguments about the erosion of the landscaped parkland and, soon afterwards, it was realised that a planned approach was needed to take forward the design work which started 50 years previously. The first comprehensive review was in 1981 and further studies have followed at intervals with the park’s overall structure and facilities being progressively refined and improved.

  • 1981City Engineer’s report
    This report is significant because it shows a realisation of the need for a planned approach to future development. Before 1981, developments had been undertaken in a largely uncoordinated way. The report was commissioned by the Council’s Leisure Services Committee and one of its appendices contains a 1928 report from the park’s designer to the Hoe and Parks Committee.
  • 2001Action Plan 2001
    At the start of the new Millennium, the condition of parks across the country was a cause for concern after years of under-funding and Central Park was no exception. This report followed a public consultation about Central Park in 2000 and went on to identify priorities for improvements.
  • 2002Historic Landscape Assessment
    One of the recommendations from the 2001 Action Plan was to undertake a historic survey of the park in order to understand better the heritage of the park and improve the way it was interpreted. The Historic Landscape Assessment was commissioned to fill this need and, whilst it made a very significant contribution, it also identified a lack of historic images and recommended that oral history techniques be used to help establish the community value of the park.
  • 2008Central Park Area Action Plan
    This report probably represents the most complete analysis of the problems that faced the park at the time and which to some extent still remain. One of its main recommendations was to build the Life Centre as a replacement for the old swimming pool and Mayflower centre.
  • 2011Masterplan
    Critical observations from the 2008 Area Action Plan, particularly the lack of quality and poor infrastructure within the park, are addressed within the masterplan. It brought forward a package of environmental enhancements together with a delivery plan.
  • 2013Masterplan
    This masterplan confirmed the one adopted two years earlier with some minor changes.
  • 2017Masterplan
    Having allocated £6M of funding for park improvements, Plymouth City Council used this masterplan to consult on a range of proposals that included a new café, new sports facilities, a refurbished play area and an extension to the skatepark.
  • 2017Preliminary Ecological Appraisal
    The purpose of the appraisal was to identify potential ecological constraints and opportunities associated with developments in the masterplan.
  • 2017Pathways and furniture assessment
    Masterplan proposals for new and improved footpaths and new furniture are developed further in this document.
  • 2018Central Park Management Plan
    The Management Plan sought to raise standards of presentation so that the park could be considered for a ‘Green Flag Award’ and this was in fact achieved in 2019.
  • 2019Joint Local Plan Policy PLY19 – Central Park
    The Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan set a direction of travel for the long-term future of the area. Policy PLY19 set out specific aims for Central Park as a strategic green space site.