A GROUP of Lyme Regis residents have raised concerns over the proposed renovation of the Henry’s Way play area.
Lyme Regis Town Council is currently considering designs for the play area, which was first opened when the Admiral’s Heights extension of the Henry’s Way estate was built in the early 2000s.
But some residents have expressed concerns that the designs will attract older children, when the play area was originally meant for toddlers.
During the public forum at a recent town council meeting, Neil Luxton, speaking on behalf of a nearby resident, said: “The original planning permission and agreement with local people at the time of development was that it would only be for toddlers and not a full blown play area for juniors, which is why there’s a small amount of low height equipment available in that area.
“My main objections are privacy – the proposed climbing frame tower’s height and position on an angled ground will look right into our bedrooms and landing windows, which is not acceptable.
“Noise and nuisance levels will be increased. Neighbours have already had their car windows smashed and been verbally insulted by kids when asked to keep the noise down and not break the toddler equipment.
“By keeping the equipment to a smaller size, in line with the toddler age group and removing the tower, it will reduce your cost.”
Talbot Road resident Nigel Ball expressed concerns that the wider public had not been consulted on the play park.
He praised the council for asking local schoolchildren about their preferred design for the park, but said the only other public consultation had been a letter sent to neighbours in the immediate area around the park, some of which were in blank envelopes and were thrown away.
Henry’s Way resident Catherine Holmes commented: “The park will attract older children causing problems in the roads nearby with skateboards, bikes and footballs. It’s the children we have to think about and if they get hurt, it hurts everybody, it’s dangerous.”
Councillor John Broom agreed the council should look further into the original planning application and conditions for the play area before moving forward with the project.
Councillor Brian Larcombe said the council had already spent a large amount of money on the Anning Road play park and, with its beaches and countryside, Lyme Regis was already a “wonderful place to grow up” so he did not think anymore significant investment was needed for play areas.
The Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, said most of the money for the project was Section 106 funding from local housing developments and was ring-fenced specifically for play parks.
There is currently £29,000 in Section 106 funding available for play parks, and the council will add up to £17,000 of un-budgeted expenditure to this depending on the chosen design.
Councillors agreed to look at the original planning application and consult further with residents before making a decision on the design.