Park plans scrapped after gang fears raised

PLANS to build a new children’s play park on a town estate have been shelved after residents voiced fears it would be taken over by a gang of troublesome teenagers.

The idea for another play area in Sudbury has had to be scrapped after those living by the proposed area feared it would become another magnet for youths drinking and taking drugs.

The own goal was scored by Babergh council officers who consulted on the park at Parkwood Drive at the same time as highlighting their work to out a gang who had turned a nearby park into a drinking den. Drugs had also been found at the park at Uplands Crescent, by Sudbury Upper School.

It was only after residents turned out at a meeting to discuss the plans at Woodhall Primary School that a decision was taken to ditch the idea.

One resident, who lived looking onto the grassy area put forward for a park, who did not want to be named, said: “I would not want that at all. My car was recently damaged by youths who throw a rock at it.

“I am sure people around here would not want it.”

It came after Babergh announced they have had to install surveillance at their park off Uplands Crescent and are preparing to cut all the hedges back and provide lighting in a bid to move a large congregation of youths on. Residents nearby have previously turned out to police meetings in Sudbury telling of how the gang has caused thousands of pounds of damage to their property in mindless attacks late at night.

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A Babergh spokesman said: “Babergh officers recently wrote to several hundred residents – and subsequently met with a number – about our proposals to seek funding for a play area at Parkwood Drive.

“Having listened to a range of objections to this idea, Babergh has carefully re-considered the matter and is informing local people that it has decided not to proceed with this project any further.”

The intended park was to be funded through Section 106 planning gain funds. It was part of a plan to increase much-needed play opportunities in the town.