Play area to be fenced off as scheme to reduce noise pollution is approved

The new play area at King's Head Meadow at Wymondham, which is very close to the houses. Picture: DE

The new play area at King's Head Meadow at Wymondham, which is very close to the houses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

A play area which has sparked debate in a town for years is to be fenced off, as part of a bid to reduce noise pollution and anti-social behaviour.

The playscape in Wymondham's King's Head Meadow was built in 2014, at a cost of £75,000 and includes a wide variety of equipment for the town's children.

However, ever since it was installed those living on Orchard Way have complained of noise and anti-social behaviour coming from the site - which backs directly onto their fences.

This week, a Wymondham Town Council bid to remedy this has received planning permission from South Norfolk Council - a 2.5m high fence to be built at the rear of the play area.

The fence, which will consist of concrete posts and wooden slats, will be positioned seven metres in front of the residential boundary.

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Trevor Gurney, Wymondham Town Council clerk, said the fence would 'provide an acoustic and physical barrier between the existing part and neighbouring properties to reduce noise and impact of the activities within the park on the existing fence'.

However, the plans received some reservations from police, with fears the corridor created in between the new fence and the residential boundaries would provide a place for those wishing to cause anti-social behaviour to remain hidden.

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This objection though, was raised by the police's architectural liaison officer, with the town council insisting the sergeants responsible for the town had not raised concerns.

In order to address this, the town council will plant pyracantha and blackthorns in the gap.

Both are thorny plants aimed to act as a deterrent.

The area will also be protected by a secured gate.

Murray Gray, a member of South Norfolk's development control committee, said: 'I think the fence will improve the conservation of the area. 'As it stands the residential fences are a number of different colours and therefore, the new fence will make the area more attractive.'

Had the planning application failed, the town council would still have been permitted to build a fence two metres high without requiring planning permission - however, this now allows the fence to have the extra half-a-metre in height.

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