Langborough Rec 'Disney theme park' play area divides familiesBy Victoria Smith
February 16, 2012
Hundreds of townspeople have been asked to re-submit their views on plans for new play equipment likened to a ‘Disney theme park’ by objectors.
A fresh consultation on plans by Wokingham Town Council to spend £80,000 on new play equipment for all ages at the Langborough Recreation Ground off Gipsy Lane is running until Monday next week.
The town council had submitted plans to Wokingham Borough Council that would involve more than doubling the size of the existing play area from 680 square to 1,724 square metres.
However, residents with a view over the park spoke out against the plan, saying it would spoil their view of the park and promote anti-social behaviour on the park, and the plan was withdrawn last month.
A previous questionnaire put out by the town council before it submitted the planning application showed most people who responded were in favour of new play equipment.
The new questionnaire, which has been sent to 250 homes in the vicinity of the park, offers people four options to support or reject.
The options are to go ahead with the original plan, featuring new play apparatus for two to six-year-olds, six to 12-year-olds and gym equipment that can be used by adults, or the original plan without the three pieces of gym equipment.
The other options are to put in just a few pieces of new equipment, and the final option is to keep the existing equipment for two to six-year-olds and add to additional play facilities.
Residents are at loggerheads over the plan, with two separate camps distributing leaflets in the area both for and against the proposal.
Mum-of-two Lucy Allen, of Langborough Road, has been delivering leaflets around the area in support of the original plan.
She said: “A lot of people I have spoken to are keen that the original application should be re-submitted.
“I understand that some people in Gipsy Lane feel the extra play equipment will spoil their view and create too much noise but this is a recreation ground and at the moment there is really nothing there for children to play on.
“The application only proposes four extra bits of children’s play equipment and three bits of adult fitness equipment and still leaves around 90 per cent of the rec untouched.
“Perhaps if the zip wire is the major bone of contention it could be moved away from the edge of the park and away from the houses in Gypsy Lane, then we would still get something fun for the children without it creating too much noise for the residents.”
Councillor Phillip Mirfin, leader of the town council, said: “The new consultation document has been distributed and residents have been given two weeks to respond.
“What we do next will be based on that response.”
The consultation form can be downloaded at www.wokingham-tc.gov.uk. The closing date for the consultation is Monday, February 20.