Bracknell Forest Homes tells mum 'play equipment must go'By Hugh Fort
August 09, 2012
A mum who forked out for play equipment for a communal garden has been told she must remove it as the area is ‘not for playing in’.
Coleen King, 25, spent more than £700 buying swings and a trampoline to go in the fenced off area for residents of flats in Moor Close, Owlsmoor.
But Bracknell Forest Homes, which manages the area, fears a child could be injured by the equipment and has told her no play equipment should be left out permanently for health and safety reasons.
Miss King is furious and claims she will have to get rid of it as her flat is too small to keep it inside.
She said: “I think it’s really unfair. I’ve paid for it and put it up.It’s not just for my kids, they can all use it and they do. They love it.”
The mum-of-three girls has started a petition gathering support from other families living in the close and says she will fight the decision.
In the letter Bracknell Forest Homes told residents of the flats ‘whilst the area is for the use of all residents in Moor Close, the intention is for the area to be used as a ‘quiet area’ for residents to sit in’.
The letter also says the large trampoline must be ‘moved immediately’ and should not be left permanently installed due to health and safety.
Miss King said: “Bracknell Forest Homes is talking about it being a quiet area and health and safety problems but we’ve never had anything. The trampoline is spring-free so it’s not dangerous. I paid for the spring-free as I felt it was a safer but they still don’t like it.
“They’ve got similar things in the other flats which people have got so why can’t we have ours?
“I’ve spent a lot to do what I thought was a nice thing for all the kids around here and now they’re saying to get rid of it.” She added: “I can’t keep swings and a trampoline inside a flat so they’ll go if we can’t keep them here.”
Moor Close residents have also been asked to ensure no dog fouling occurs in the area. Linda Wells, housing and community services director, said: “We appreciate that it is sometimes a challenge to keep children occupied during the school holidays and for this reason we provide a range of children’s activities such as sports and fun camps and trips to the beach through our community investment programme.
“This play equipment was erected without our permission in a communal area which can be used by members of the public. The equipment does not meet the standards required for public use and we are concerned that a child could be injured, particularly as the equipment is left unsupervised at times.
“We do consider requests for one-off events, such as birthday parties or a communal barbecue, where safety considerations have been taken into account and insurance is in place.
“Owlsmoor and Sandhurst do have some very nice recreation areas for families to enjoy in safety and we would encourage residents to use these areas.”