Group opposed to playscape move at Wymondham’s King’s Head Meadow praises ‘natural’ approach favoured by Play England
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
A community group campaigning against a council's controversial decision to move play equipment because of noise concerns has hailed a Play England recommendation to stop the move.
Wymondham Town Council commissioned the play charity to investigate alternative sites for the playscape equipment at King's Head Meadow in an attempt to resolve a long-running dispute between residents of nearby Orchard Way, who want it moved, and other community members, who want it to stay in situ.
The report, which will be presented at next Tuesday's council meeting, recommends the council re-model the play area to create a more 'natural' space, which would also reduce nuisance to nearby residents.
Sharon Hastings, secretary of the Kings Head Meadow Playscape Group, which has been fighting against the planned move, said she was delighted with the findings.
She said: 'It's a professional report containing a superb insight into the current playscape and its shortfalls whilst demonstrating why other proposed sites are flawed. We are overwhelmed by its honesty and agree with its overall recommendation that a remodelling of the existing park will best serve the community of Wymondham and the playscape's many users.'
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The report said fallen trees, boulders and other natural features would create a more inviting space, and was critical of a fence around the play area which cuts it off from the rest of the meadow.
A working group set up last year suggested the impasse could be resolved by moving the equipment across the meadow to a site next to the Back Lane car park.
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The Play England report said that while this 'may be' the 'least worst' alternative site, it raised concerns over pollution from cars' fumes, child safety and noise impacting a nearby residential home.
The report also called the council's vote to move the playscape a 'political decision'.
The playscape equipment was installed in 2014 at a cost of £75,000 on the site of an existing playground.
The council had set aside £60,000 for the playscape's relocation.
Wymondham Town Council has been contacted for a comment.
The council meeting will take place at Central Hall in Back Lane on June 6, from 7.30pm.