Residents challenge council over Hazlemere playground refurbishment

Hazlemere Parish Council offices

Hazlemere Parish Council offices

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

ANGRY residents say they intend to fight a parish council if rumoured plans to move a children’s playground and build a new skate park are approved.

Hazlemere Parish Council is planning to refurbish a playground in the Hazlemere Recreation Ground, with the equipment potentially being moved next to the Bowls Club.

Plans for a skate park to be built in the area have also long been mooted and residents are now concerned the playground will be moved and replaced, without their views being taken into consideration.

Chris Andrew, who lives on Green Street, said: “The vast majority are opposed to relocation from the present sheltered, safe and tranquil site to the more exposed and risky area proposed by the council.

“(This would) make way for a pet project of a few individuals, the substance of which has been deliberately kept from the parishioners by use of council website and social media which sites are not accessible to all.

“There is a deep sense of outrage at the council’s offhand attitude towards its parishioners and its lack of communication. We sincerely hope that the council will take our concerns seriously.”

Despite objections on moving the playground from Mr Andrews and 59 others he has spoken to, the Chairman of the council, Brian Mapletoft, says a proper consultation will be held if they propose to move the playground.

He said: “We don’t have any definitive plans. I can say we do have a fund totalling £50,000 for the refurbishment of the park, although this may not be enough for a total refurb.

“We have already refurbished the two other parks in the parish including the one behind council offices and the one in the park in Rose Avenue and it is now the turn of the Hazlemere Rec.

“We think it needs something doing to it as most people would agree it is looking quite tired and in need of work.

“I would imagine we would (hold a public consultation on moving the playground) because we would welcome the opinion of the public as we know there are arguments for and against the move.

“We know some people have said the playground is quite far away from the other facilities and the houses and that is why moving it has been looked at.”

Speaking of the skate park Cllr Mapletoft said the council is still awaiting for a business plan for the facility before any proposal can be discussed.

Comments (1)

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8:41pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Hazlemere Man says...

Yet another example of non-consultation by a council that doesn't appear to care about its parishoners!
Yet another example of non-consultation by a council that doesn't appear to care about its parishoners! Hazlemere Man
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