Lakenham siblings brought to tears after Norwich City Council order removal of garden trampoline
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017
Like most children, there's nothing Wojciech and Hana Dynowski enjoy more than a go on their garden trampoline.
But the sibling's bouncing days could be numbered after a council ordered that the play equipment be taken away.
The pair were reduced to tears when Norwich City Council declared that the trampoline was among of list of items that must be removed from a block of flats in Southwell Road, Lakenham, in a letter on May 12.
The list included a coffee mug used as an ash tray, garden gnomes, and children's toys.
One resident, Francene Mayes, who was runner up in the city council Good Neighbour awards last year, has also been told to remove a wooden shed in her garden.
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The residents have been told their gardens are now 'communal areas', and cannot have trip hazards.
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Iwona Dynowski, 36, said her children Wojciech, eight and Hana, five, were crying when she told them the trampoline had to go.
'Before we moved here we asked if this was a private garden and were told it was a garden for our use only,' said Mrs Dynovska. 'The trampoline has been here since we moved in over two years ago.'
Neighbour John Chewter, 65, said: 'Every time there has been an inspection before there has been nothing wrong. Their logic now is anybody could come from anywhere in the city, walk into their garden through a latched gate, use their trampoline, break their leg and sue the council.
Ms Mayes, said the council officer was 'disrupting an entire block of people with this dictatorship. We are a community here.'
She has spent 17 years beautifying the outdoor space, only to be told to tear out her work.
'This was a wilderness and the front was just bricks and rubble,' she said. 'I'm now being told I am out of order. If they are now saying it is a communal garden, why have they not been maintaining it for the last 17 years?'
A council spokesperson said they are due to meet residents this week to discuss their concerns.
'We are now working with residents to resolve any safety concerns and put appropriate permissions in place for permitted items, while ensuring all residents have equal access to shared space,' they said.
History of health and safety
In 2014, Norwich City Council updated its rules after it faced accusations of heavy-handedness when tenants were ordered to remove items from communal areas in flats.
Among them was Kerry Annison, whose flowers have won Norwich In Bloom awards. She was told the pots around her Devonshire Street home were a fire hazard, before a council change of heart.
And Margaret Jowsey, of Sleaford Green, was ordered to remove a washing line in a communal area which was also deemed to be a fire hazard.
In the wake of those incidents, and a blaze which broke out in Markham Tower in Mile Cross five years ago, the council reviewed what was allowed in communal areas at the council's flats.
Plant pots were banned in 'high risk' areas, such as tower blocks.
Now, items in the Southwell Road block of flats which have been deemed a fire hazard include a metal sign displayed above a hallway cabinet.