Residents frustrated at Stansted play equipment failure

The mushroom seating at the play areas in Reeve Road, Stansted

The mushroom seating at the play areas in Reeve Road, Stansted - Credit: Archant

Residents of a Stansted community have been left frustrated by the council’s “failure to deliver” on promises made over two playgrounds.

Parents on the Forest Hall estate were given assurances by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) in September that play equipment in two play areas in Reeve Road would be reinstalled and that they would be involved with the consultation process.

The play equipment was originally removed on September 16 by developer Croudace, who own the land, and replaced with mushroom seating following complaints from some residents that the areas were attracting anti-social behaviour.

But following a campaign by parents, a meeting was held on September 30 at Stansted Parish Council and parent John Black says it was agreed that three pieces of equipment would be returned to both areas and any discussion would involve residents.

Mr Black, 55, whose 5-year-old autistic son regularly used the areas until the equipment was removed, said: “UDC has failed to deliver any of the commitments made at that meeting or even respond to any of our emails.

“They are treating us with contempt. We have made repeated offers to meet with them and the residents who oppose the play parks and these attempts have been ignored.

“All we have seen is an unacceptable proposal, which was put forward without the promised consultation with us, and which involves replacing only two pieces of equipment rather than the three they committed to at the meeting in September.”

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Mr Black believes claims of anti-social behaviour and vandalism by residents were fabricated and that the mushroom seating is not wanted.

He said: “The newly installed wooden mushrooms should not be included as one of the three items of equipment per park since the agreement was to replace from the equipment that has been removed.

“The mushrooms serve no useful purpose for child development and are already weather-damaged, which could lead to somebody being injured.”

The land is due to be passed from developer Croudace to Stansted Parish Council, but will not happen until the situation has been resolved.

A UDC spokesman said: “The council has put forward a proposal to Croudace to reinstate some of the play equipment at Reeve Road. Croudace still controls the land and it is not possible to proceed at present without its agreement. A response has not yet been received.”

Croudace have not responded to comment.