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‘We are going around in circles’ - dispute over Wymondham’s King’s Head Meadow rages on

Wymondham town councillors discussing the King's Head Meadow playscape issue at the September full council meeting. From left, Lee Hornby, Jack Hornby, Joe Mooney, deputy mayor Anthony Holden, mayor Robert Savage. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Wymondham town councillors discussing the King's Head Meadow playscape issue at the September full council meeting. From left, Lee Hornby, Jack Hornby, Joe Mooney, deputy mayor Anthony Holden, mayor Robert Savage. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Archant

An attempt to resolve a long-running dispute around a Wymondham play park seem to have taken a step backwards.

Town councillors discussed the issue of the playscape at King’s Head Meadow at a typically heated full council meeting on Tuesday.

Robert Savage, mayor, proposed asking the charity Play England to devise a ‘sub master-plan’ for a remodelled play park for an area larger than the current play area at the site, next to the football pitch.

But the idea was voted down by seven to six.

After the meeting, Mr Savage expressed frustration at the outcome, which has left the future of the playscape in limbo.

Parents, children and supporters at the protest over the removal of play equipment at King's Head Meadow, Wymondham, last year. 

PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY Parents, children and supporters at the protest over the removal of play equipment at King's Head Meadow, Wymondham, last year. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

He said: “It’s a dilemma. We are going around in circles.”

The troubles started after £75,000 worth of equipment, known as the playscape, was installed in 2014 on the site of an existing playground.

But residents of nearby Orchard way soon started to complain about excessive noise and anti-social behaviour which they believed were caused by the new equipment.

Councillors voted last year to have it removed, but this was stopped by a protest, and in June they voted to have the play park remodelled in its current spot.

The play area at King's Head Meadow at Wymondham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The play area at King's Head Meadow at Wymondham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Lee Hornby, councillor, led Tuesday’s rally against the playscape, saying the council was going against its own standing orders.

He said: “The resolution to remove the playscape still stands. It was not legally overturned at the meeting in June.”

Several Orchard Way residents also spoke, saying the problems were ongoing. One woman said: “There has always been someone out the back and they have made quite a lot of noise. We’ve had people throw things in our garden as well.”

Mr Savage also proposed having the park’s picnic benches moved further away to reduce noise, but the idea failed to make it to a vote.

Sharon Hastings, secretary of the KHM Playscape Group, which is campaigning to keep the equipment, said they were “bitterly disappointed and angry” after the meeting.

She said: “We have always said we want the playscape to stay for the town of Wymondham but remain in place with compromises to suit all. The total removal or reduction of equipment will spoil the area and remove the only town centre play area our children have.”

MORE: Wymondham’s King’s Head Meadow campaigners celebrate a victory in fight to save playscape

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