Framlingham: Removing play equipment from Castle Brooks park would be ‘scandalous’

Users of a play area in Framlingham are angry that Suffolk Coastal District council is to remove one of the swings and the fencing because of a complaint. Users of a play area in Framlingham are angry that Suffolk Coastal District council is to remove one of the swings and the fencing because of a complaint.

Andrew Hirst andrew.hirst@archant.co.uk
Saturday, June 7, 2014
11:01 AM

Removing play equipment from a Suffolk park due to neighbours’ complaints would be “scandalous” and immoral councillors have said.

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Framlingham Town Council agreed to object to the proposed removal of the “birds’ nest swing” and fencing around the play area near Castle Brooks in the town.

The planned removal, put forward in response to the disturbance complaints made by two neighbouring residents, had already provoked outcry from parents of children who used the play area.

Councillors at Thursday’s town council meeting supported those objections, and called for“common sense to take precedence over planning rules”.

Councillor Kevin Coe said the play area had been built by a “reputable firm” and its presence had been “well documented” in the housing scheme.

“I cannot see how morally they [the council] have got any reason to go against the wishes of the greater community for the views of a few people,” he said.

“This sort of thing is happening more and more - it’s time that common sense took precedence over planning rules.”

Councillor Bob Roberts added that it would be “scandalous” if the equipment was removed because of “a measure that’s been proposed by just two people”.

Suffolk Coastal District Council first informed residents about the proposal on May 27. It has since apologised for giving the impression that the proposal had been put forward by Hopkins Homes, the site developer.

Philip Ridley, head of planning, said: “Hopkins Homes has no part to play in either the current consultations or future decisions regarding the play area, Hopkins Homes has at all times, acted entirely in accordance with the planning agreement with the council.”

James Hopkins, the company’s co-founder, said he was “very aggrieved” to see the misinformation and stressed Hopkins Homes has “absolutely nothing to do” with the proposed removal.

“We see the play are as being of direct benefit to the residents and young people of the area. At no time have we in any way sought to put forward an application to have it removed,” he said.

“We would like to think we would closely with communities to provide housing, affordable housing and play equipment for those communities.”

To comment on the plan email patsy.dobson@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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