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Disabled parents criticise Wymondham play area decision - as 100 people turn out to protest

07:11 11 February 2016

The Kings Head Meadow play area is being relocated, many local residents want the relocation halted and the park to remain in place.

The Kings Head Meadow play area is being relocated, many local residents want the relocation halted and the park to remain in place.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2016

Disabled parents in Wymondham say that an “unbelievable” decision to relocate a £75,000 play area will leave them with nowhere safe to take their children.

The Kings Head Meadow play area is being relocated, many local residents want the relocation halted and the park to remain in place.
Neil Seach is a wheelchair user and has difficulty accessing other parks, he is with his daughter Niamh and other members of the Wymondham Matters group.
l-r:Mark Banham, Dave Roberts, Suzanne Nuri, Sue Day and Pete Green.The Kings Head Meadow play area is being relocated, many local residents want the relocation halted and the park to remain in place. Neil Seach is a wheelchair user and has difficulty accessing other parks, he is with his daughter Niamh and other members of the Wymondham Matters group. l-r:Mark Banham, Dave Roberts, Suzanne Nuri, Sue Day and Pete Green.

It comes as almost 100 parents, children and campaigners gathered at the park on Tuesday for a protest against the decision.

Last week Wymondham Town Council agreed to move the playscape on King’s Head Meadow (KHM) to Browick Road to solve complaints over noise and antisocial behaviour from nearby homeowners - despite fierce objection from manyabout the £60,000 put aside to cover costs.

Parents with disabilities have criticised the decision and are hoping to pursue legal action, claiming the town will be left without a play area they can easily access.

After a car accident in 2002 damaged his spine, Neil Seach, of Rustens Manor Road, is unable to walk long distances and relies on his mobility scooter, making getting to the park with his three-year-old daughter a struggle.

The Kings Head Meadow play area is being relocated, many local residents want the relocation halted and the park to remain in place.
l-r Sanjana Ahmed, Ellie-Rose O'Brien and Lucy Read are amongst hundreds of children who do not want to lose their park.The Kings Head Meadow play area is being relocated, many local residents want the relocation halted and the park to remain in place. l-r Sanjana Ahmed, Ellie-Rose O'Brien and Lucy Read are amongst hundreds of children who do not want to lose their park.

He says he finds other play areas difficult to reach - with the newly-opened Kett’s Park set on grass, which often becomes waterlogged, away from a path and Browick Road too steep to access by scooter.

“I complained about Kett’s Park and was told KHM would be more suitable, which was fine. We were really pleased with it - I could take my daughter there, help her and be near rather than having to

watch on from 100 yards away,” he said. “But to know that even that will be removed now is unbelievable.

“Wymondham is a historic town so there are lots of places that are not accessible for me, but I’ve never wanted to complain because this is where I grew up and I love it, but I can’t let this go.”

The 37-year-old had previously asked the council to consider installing a path to Kett’s Park for disabled users - but says he was told the cost could be too high.

In response, the council this week confirmed it is looking into installing a path and said the two main play areas, Kett’s Park and KHM, were considered compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

It also said play areas including the one at Bramble Way, which is run by South Norfolk Council, have suitable access.

Among those at Tuesday’s protest was father-of-five David Roberts, who has multiple sclerosis and an 11-year-old child with sight and learning difficulties.

He said KHM is the only “safe and accessible” park for his family and that, at others, he would struggle to reach his children quickly should an accident happen.

At the full council meeting last week, those living behind KHM said the council should have built the park elsewhere on the meadow. At their closest, the fences of affected homes are thought to be two metres away.

What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to EDP Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

14 comments

  • The link didn't work below...to sign the petition visit change.org and search for Wymondham. 796 people have signed so far and numerous residents have written to their local councillors asking why other compromise and cheaper options have not been considered.

    Report this comment

    Sue Rowland

    Sunday, February 14, 2016

  • If you want to sign the petition against this proposal, it's here https:www.change.orgpwymondham-town-council-save-the-wymondham-kings-head-meadow-play-area

    Report this comment

    Sue Rowland

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Why is it that a small minority of individuals can spoil it for the majority - in a democracy surely the majority viewposition holds sway

    Report this comment

    Daveyboy

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • I don't know the facts but if Ted is right what a sad world we live in. Our back gate in a coastal village not that much smaller than Wymondham opens directly onto a Rec - the same applies to many of the neighbours - and we think of it as handy to take the dog out, not a curse. So what if kids sometimes shout - at least they're out having fun and not stuck in on the X-box or whatever. Make it impossible for disabled parents to take their kids out and you really are missing the point, O high'n'mighty Councillors. Good luck to all who fight this ridiculous decision.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • A path is being "considered" at Ketts Park, I was given that message 10 months ago before the play area was even installed by the Town Clerk, it hasn't come up with a viable option or plan in almost a year so I do not think they can be trusted to do this without further pressure, especially as in less than a few months a decision to move the accessible park to an inaccessible play area with £60,000 of "Reserve" funds found could be agreed. A path should not be considered it should be laid, the area does not comply with the Equality Act 2010 without it, furthermore the council should be pursuing a course of action against whoever laid the play area, I have it on good authority that the poor drainage was discussed in the planning process and that drainage was going to be sorted. Given the photos I have shared with Lauren (the reporter of the article), the Town Council and on various social media sites I would suggest that whoever laid the play area hasn't completed the works to a satisfactory standard! Finally I would like to know where is the green field for children to play football, Frisbee, fly a kite etc in Bramble Way - Could any of the Harts Farm Residents advise please? I know of one play area with some equipment (which it must be said is on the opposite side of Wymondham) meaning my side have Rothbury Park - Inaccessible, Browick Rec - Inaccessible, Kings Head Meadow - Accessible but most of it is being taken down, Gaynor Park - Once a thriving Park but now in ruin following similar complaints from residents. It seems that certain sectors of Wymondham are intent of stopping the Children of Wymondham from playing. How long before we complain the children of Wymondham are obese gameaholics with no social skills?

    Thought a map showing the play areas and accessibility Red pin is my Road

    Report this comment

    Chewbacca1978

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Wymondham councillors who voted for this should hang their heads in shame. You'd think that some councillor has done a deal here - to get elected on the basis that a play site gets removed. This is so crazy...whatever next? Moving the schools due their nuisance?? The library?? Central Hall??? Just don't forget that Mayor Joe Mooney who is leading this fight for removing the play area is up for re-election next year. It's time for change!

    Report this comment

    Mj

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • A path is being "considered" at Ketts Park, I was given that message 10 months ago before the play area was even installed by the Town Clerk, it hasn't come up with a viable option or plan in almost a year so I do not think they can be trusted to do this without further pressure, especially as in less than a few months a decision to move the accessible park to an inaccessible play area with £60,000 of "Reserve" funds found could be agreed. A path should not be considered it should be laid, the area does not comply with the Equality Act 2010 without it, furthermore the council should be pursuing a course of action against whoever laid the play area, I have it on good authority that the poor drainage was discussed in the planning process and that drainage was going to be sorted. Given the photos I have shared with Lauren (the reporter of the article), the Town Council and on various social media sites I would suggest that whoever laid the play area hasn't completed the works to a satisfactory standard! Finally I would like to know where is the green field for children to play football, Frisbee, fly a kite etc in Bramble Way - Could any of the Harts Farm Residents advise please? I know of one play area with some equipment (which it must be said is on the opposite side of Wymondham) meaning my side have Rothbury Park - Inaccessible, Browick Rec - Inaccessible, Kings Head Meadow - Accessible but most of it is being taken down, Gaynor Park - Once a thriving Park but now in ruin following similar complaints from residents. It seems that certain sectors of Wymondham are intent of stopping the Children of Wymondham from playing. How long before we complain the children of Wymondham are obese gameaholics with no social skills?

    Thought a map showing the play areas and accessibility Red pin is my Road

    Report this comment

    Chewbacca1978

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • If the chap with the motability scooter is having access problems then surely it can't be much fun for pushchairs either. Gathering from the comments by locals it would appear that their councillors cannot seem to distinguish between their community role and using their position for personal advantage.

    Report this comment

    Green Ink from Tunbridge Wells

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • "At their closest, the fences of affected homes are thought to be two metres away." from the edge of the field maybe, not the play equipment though!

    Report this comment

    Linda Sinclair

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • I'm just astounded that anyone in their right mind, let alone a Councillor would approve this ludicrous move, especially bearing in mind what they said less than 2 years ago "County Councillor Joseph Mooney said that the proposal was “long overdue”. I hope that parents will no longer have to transport their children to the play areas outside of our town.” Deputy mayor Dianne Fernee, who has been involved with the project since last year, said: “It is awful that parents have to go to small villages to get better play equipment then we have here.”

    Report this comment

    Linda Sinclair

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • all because a councilor lives near by and does not like to hear children playing, its not what you know, its who you know when it comes to our councils.

    Report this comment

    ted

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • and so it rumbles on and on... Cheapest thing would be to either police the space better at night or pay for double glazing for the grumps who live nearby...

    Report this comment

    SilverMachine

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • They couldn’t lay a path for disabled people because of the cost yet they can afford £60,000 to move it altogether…it doesn’t make any sense. Leave it be. Why don’t the council put the money into building higher fences for those few moaners? And then maybe families enjoying the park don’t have to put up with looking at the killjoys. Hope you guys will see this to the end and get this ridiculous decision reversed. Best wishes…Andy.

    Report this comment

    Andy.Knight

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Don’t let a small handful of people spoil the fun for children and families…..fight for it…! Good luck..! and hopefully Common sense will prevail in the end.

    Report this comment

    CommonSence

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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