Worried locals raise concerns over play area

Pupils from Amble Links First School with Couns Allan Hepple and Robert Arckless and Debra Phillips, from Galliford Try, in the new play area in Dandsfield Square. 'Picture by Jane Coltman
Pupils from Amble Links First School with Couns Allan Hepple and Robert Arckless and Debra Phillips, from Galliford Try, in the new play area in Dandsfield Square. 'Picture by Jane Coltman

Residents have voiced their concerns about a play area, saying it has been taken over by teenagers, is an eyesore and wants pulling down.

Some worried locals have even claimed that children are carrying knives and youngsters have been threatened by adults wielding baseball bats.

The facility is situated just off Dandsfield Square, in Amble, and has been funded by Galliford Try Partnerships North, which has built 48 council homes on the estate.

The properties will be managed by Homes for Northumberland – the county council’s housing management service – and the community play area was negotiated as part of the original planning agreement.

The playground, which is suitable for young children, features a range of equipment, while a mini five-a-side football pitch with new goal posts has also been reinstated at the side of the park.

However, some residents have said that the facility is proving to be a nuisance. On our Facebook page, Leanne Panda Straker said that teenagers are making noise and dropping litter, while Jamie-lee Lawson wrote that it has caused nothing but bother.

Claire Nicole Wallace said: “It wants pulled down. I wish I never moved here.”

Not everyone is against the play area though. Kirsty McNicoll said that she thought people were going over the top and said it was nice to see the facility being used.

Police Inspector Paul Truscott said: “We are looking to do what we can with community safety and through the town council and I will raise this at the meeting next month.”

Amble town and county councillor Robert Arckless added: “If there are genuine concerns, or there is anti-social behaviour, then we will work with local residents to address these. I understand the issue about litter and something can be done about that. The new estate was developed with the play area as part of the development and there was considerable consultation prior to the play park development.

“A consultation form was sent out to a few hundred residents living in a close proximity of the then-proposed play area in June 2014 before any work on the park went ahead, asking residents what type of play facilities or green spaces they would like to see in the area which were not found locally at the time. Many of the residents, including town council members, indicated a need for a toddlers’ play area as well as a five-a-side pitch.

“One of the biggest criticisms in the past has been that there were no facilities for children in a sizeable estate and that is why the play area was put there.”

The Gazette contacted Galliford Try Partnerships North, but did not receive a comment.

Other comments on Facebook

Leanne Panda Straker: Worst idea they could have done. It’s just been took over by noisy teenagers who shout and scream on and throw litter all over the estate. Not to mention they kick balls at people’s cars and run over residents gardens!

Rebecca Allan Smith: The houses are lovely but the park need to be removed its an eyesore and the language and kids coming from out the area is causing more concern.

Sharon Powton: I think it’s fine. My house is literally on the edge of the park and we have no bother at all. My daughter goes to play there and enjoys it. It’s nice to have something for the kids to do and somewhere for them to play.