Petition over sports wall site

Sarah Row signed petition against location of Winters Lane sports wall 2

Sarah Row signed petition against location of Winters Lane sports wall 2 - Credit: Archant

More than 100 Ottery residents have signed a petition calling on the district council to ‘urgently reconsider’ the proposed position of a new sports wall.

The £15,000 attraction is due to be built at Winters Lane recreation field, but parents last week told the Herald they are seriously concerned its planned location presents a danger to children’s safety.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) said the site poses minimal risk, but now a petition has been launched appealing to the authority’s chief executive, Mark Williams, to consider an alternative site.

Resident Claire Pitman started the petition on Tuesday and gathered 105 signatures in less than 24 hours.

Mother-of-two Sarah Row was one of those to lend her signature to the plea, and says that while parents are desperate for new facilities, she believes the proposed location for the multi-use wall next to the children’s play park poses ‘a significant risk’.

“It’s quite amazing the support we have had for the petition,” said Sarah.

“I think it shows our voice is starting to be heard. Everyone is saying that what we want is for EDDC to come and speak to people. There are lots of suggestions coming from the community about where it should be.”

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All of the reasons cited on the petition focus on fears for children’s safety because of the site’s proximity to the road.

They also mention a perceived risk to small children using the play park, who could be hit by flying balls.

Parents have stressed that while they welcome the investment, they feel a better location should be sought for the new equipment.

Lisa Parkyn has two children who use the play park and said she thinks it is sad that residents have not had more of an input, adding: “I do not want to say do not give us new facilities because I think it’s wonderful.

“It’s just sad to know that so much money’s going to be spent on it and I’m not sure how well it was thought out.”

An EDDC spokesperson said: “We have been talking to residents and will continue to answer any concerns they may have.

“We haven’t yet received a petition from any residents, but when we do so, we will give it due consideration.

“The council accepts that it has a duty of care to both residents and those using the playing field and we will, of course, do everything we can to reduce the risks to all parties.”