Friday, May 16, 2014
Stowford Rise families may finally have their goalposts returned after nearly five years – but the teenagers they were meant to benefit have now grown up.
Neighbours of the housing development were promised in 2009 that the ‘life and soul’ of their community would be restored at the 133-home estate, yet nothing materialised.
Now, housing authority DCH looks set to keep that promise, but some residents wish things had been left as they were.
Baker Close grandmother Jan Jones, who petitioned for the play areas, said: “I would love to see it finished – it was promised to us.
“There were goalposts there before that belonged to the community. They got as far as levelling the football field but no further.
“We wanted it for the kids but it never materialised. All they boys and girls are 18 now, not 14.”
She began a petition in 2009, which was signed by more than 100 parents begging developers not to build on a play area they described as ‘the life and soul of the community’. The bid was unsuccessful, and while DCH began work on a new ‘kick-about’ area, residents have been waiting years for it to be finished.
A DCH spokesman said: “We are committed to ensuring our housing schemes have safe open areas which encourage children to play together wherever possible.
“We have delivered a redesigned play area for the young people of Stowford Rise to enjoy, additionally to this we have created a recreational open space which can be used. We are currently in discussions with the developer of the scheme about finalising the recreational area which will see goalposts installed and will be updating our residents with our progress.”
The plans were welcomed by town councillor Dawn Manley, although she said she was unsure where the goalposts would go as the only open space is on a gradient, has recently been planted with three trees, and there is a ‘no ball games’ sign nearby.
“It’s absolute nonsense – if they cared about the open space they would have left the play area as it was,” said Councillor Manley, who also lives in Baker Close.
“We’ve heard this many times before.”