Parents' anger over changes to "too bright" playground at Corinium Via in Cirencester

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Angry families at the Corinium Via estate in Cirencester who have been told a children's play area, completed last summer, will now be relocated and repainted following complaints by a handful of residents. Angry families at the Corinium Via estate in Cirencester who have been told a children's play area, completed last summer, will now be relocated and repainted following complaints by a handful of residents.

OUTRAGED parents have hit out over a “backroom” deal to make major changes to a Cirencester playground which was sealed off for being too bright.

Last week the Standard broke the national story that a play area at the Corinium Via estate in Kingshill had been fenced off since last summer because a small number of residents had complained about its size and colour.

Now developer Redrow has confirmed it plans to open the playground by the end of next month.

On Monday, Cotswold District Council agreed to changes set out by developer. Colourful play equipment will be repainted in “muted” dark blues and greens and relocated away from homes and packed in nearer to the Burford Road.

Picnic tables will also be replaced with benches to deter families from making outings to the park and from parking nearby.

While many local parents and children are keen to see the metal barriers removed, many are angry that the views of just nine complaining residents, out of around 300 homes at the estate, have caused the delayed opening and now transformation of the play area.

Grandparent Declan Cunningham, who lives at Corinium Via, said he was disgusted by the “complete lack of consultation” by either Redrow or CDC.

“This is hardly democratic and both the developer and the council need to account for what looks like an expedient, back-room stitch-up.

"It is clear that owners of houses directly overlooking the park do not want the playground there at all and, to placate them, Redrow and CDC are happy to push the children to the margins of the open space. In fact, if they pushed them any further, they would be in the carriageway."

Mr Cunningham, whose 8-year-old granddaughter lives a short walk from the park, added: "She was only six when she moved here and spent all of the summer holidays last year gazing longingly through the high wire fence separating her from the play equipment."

CDC’s Bob McNally said the council has been in discussion with a group of residents and the developer since initial complaints were raise in July last year.

“When people complain about various things we’re not obliged to consult everybody, we’re obliged to address those concerns,” he said. “We’re trying our best to please both parties.”

It was agreed that the colour scheme and one play item were not in line with the original planning agreement and should be changed.

Gavin Hill, Technical Director for Redrow Homes, said: "In response to complaints, Redrow has agreed with residents and Cotswold District Council to adjust the colour of the equipment and move a few play items further away from dwellings.”

Compare the plans here.

Comments (6)

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6:12pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Jessica Rabbit says...

Why did the complainers buy houses overlooking a green? Surely they would have realised that children would want to play there? How stupid.... some people really are pathetic and have nothing better to worry about... get a life you silly people.
Why did the complainers buy houses overlooking a green? Surely they would have realised that children would want to play there? How stupid.... some people really are pathetic and have nothing better to worry about... get a life you silly people. Jessica Rabbit

1:21am Fri 15 Feb 13

Council Taxpayer says...

Mr McNally's statement explains why many observers feel there is a glaring democracy deficit at CDC.
When planning consent is first given, everyone gets a chance to comment and object if they wish. That's the way democratic local government works and you have to accept the outcome whether you like it or not.
And then, there's the Cotswold way. Buy a house overlooking a playground with a discount built in because of its less desirable location.
Wait until all the other owners aren't looking and then run an underhand campaign to get compliant council bureaucrats to tear up the perfectly valid planning consent and cleanse the area in front of your cut-price house of loathsome children, thereby making yourself a tidy little profit as the value of your home soars. It really helps when CDC sees no reason to consult all the other families whose children are being significantly disadvantaged.
How very middle class and to hell with the rest of them, especially the ones from the social housing who you feel should never have been allowed onto the estate in the first place.
Shame on these bigoted little Englanders and shame on the council jobsworths who let themselves be swayed by their whining.
Shame on Redrow for taking the expedient route by kicking hundreds of other owners in the teeth after they added tens of millions to their recent turnover.
And, if you are tempted to look at Redrow's prestigious new waterside development at South Cerney, watch your back. The shoddy way they have treated their customers at Corinium Via should speak for itself.
Mr McNally's statement explains why many observers feel there is a glaring democracy deficit at CDC. When planning consent is first given, everyone gets a chance to comment and object if they wish. That's the way democratic local government works and you have to accept the outcome whether you like it or not. And then, there's the Cotswold way. Buy a house overlooking a playground with a discount built in because of its less desirable location. Wait until all the other owners aren't looking and then run an underhand campaign to get compliant council bureaucrats to tear up the perfectly valid planning consent and cleanse the area in front of your cut-price house of loathsome children, thereby making yourself a tidy little profit as the value of your home soars. It really helps when CDC sees no reason to consult all the other families whose children are being significantly disadvantaged. How very middle class and to hell with the rest of them, especially the ones from the social housing who you feel should never have been allowed onto the estate in the first place. Shame on these bigoted little Englanders and shame on the council jobsworths who let themselves be swayed by their whining. Shame on Redrow for taking the expedient route by kicking hundreds of other owners in the teeth after they added tens of millions to their recent turnover. And, if you are tempted to look at Redrow's prestigious new waterside development at South Cerney, watch your back. The shoddy way they have treated their customers at Corinium Via should speak for itself. Council Taxpayer

12:10pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Tomdog says...

The hand wringers and bellyachers are probably feeling pretty smug with themselves now after the playground as been relocated to the edge of a main road, least it's cleared some room for a few travellers to set up camp for a few weeks.
The hand wringers and bellyachers are probably feeling pretty smug with themselves now after the playground as been relocated to the edge of a main road, least it's cleared some room for a few travellers to set up camp for a few weeks. Tomdog

12:30pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Suebob says...

I think a lot of developers can't be bothered putting the time in to design good playgrounds. A playground can be an asset to a community on every level, if it is designed properly. I came across these guys.-
http://grassrootspla
y.com/about-us
I think they've got a fresh eyes on potential of what can be done.
I think a lot of developers can't be bothered putting the time in to design good playgrounds. A playground can be an asset to a community on every level, if it is designed properly. I came across these guys.- http://grassrootspla y.com/about-us I think they've got a fresh eyes on potential of what can be done. Suebob

5:29pm Sun 17 Feb 13

Trend says...

I thought the play area must be surrounded by houses because of the complaints. But there looks to be only one house directly next to the site. The rest are over the road and also have gardens/drives inbetween too. So it is no like they are right next door to the place.

What a shoddy thing to do, complain about a children's play area that they knew was going to be built. Now the children of the area are going to have less equipment to play on, on what should be an absolutely excellent area for children to play safely and families to meet and enjoy time together as well.

I really am lost for words that CDC and the developers could let this happen.
I thought the play area must be surrounded by houses because of the complaints. But there looks to be only one house directly next to the site. The rest are over the road and also have gardens/drives inbetween too. So it is no like they are right next door to the place. What a shoddy thing to do, complain about a children's play area that they knew was going to be built. Now the children of the area are going to have less equipment to play on, on what should be an absolutely excellent area for children to play safely and families to meet and enjoy time together as well. I really am lost for words that CDC and the developers could let this happen. Trend

12:51pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Iansky says...

It does make you wonder if the complainant has any association to CDC, CTC?
It does make you wonder if the complainant has any association to CDC, CTC? Iansky

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