Wymondham play area equipment to be removed

Last night's Wymondham Town Council meeting

Last night's Wymondham Town Council meeting - Credit: Archant

It's an issue which has split the community and turned neighbour against neighbour.

And now Wymondham Town Council has vowed to close a controversial play area at King's Head Meadow and put its equipment under lock and key.

At a meeting at the town's Central Hall last night, councillors voted by nine to five put the equipment that was installed in 2014 at a cost of £75,000 into storage.

The decision caused an uproar among many of the 50 or so residents who packed the meeting room but pleased others whose homes border the site.

Mayor Joe Mooney said: 'Their quality of life has been damaged by the noise. In fact, they are prisoners in their own homes.'

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The vote was made after a fiery debate on the issue. Some councillors and residents called the plan 'madness' as the equipment is used by many children.

But two Orchard Way residents complained of loud swearing and anti-social behaviour at the park.

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Councillor Tony Holden was among those who spoke against the removal.

He said: 'It seems to me that we're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't. But the cost [of moving the equipment] to my mind, outweighs any benefit.'

But later Mr Holden was among those voted for the removal of the equipment.

Resident Carol Woodbine suggested a fence should be built so the park could be locked at night.

Deputy mayor Robert Savage wanted an amendment so the equipment could be moved to a spot behind the goal at King's Head Meadow, father away from houses.

But this idea was opposed by councillor Lee Hornby, one of the play area's most vocal opponents, and refused by Mr Mooney.

The council voted in February to shift the play area after a recommendation from South Norfolk Council.

But councillors decided to reconsider the plan after objections were raised at last month's meeting. An earlier plan to shift the equipment to Browick Road recreation ground has been scrapped.

Mr Mooney emphasised that the play area would not be closed down, and the original play equipment was there before 2014 would remain in place. He said it had not yet been decided when the new equipment would be removed. He said the equipment would only remain in storage until another suitable site could be found for it.

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