Cautious welcome as Walsworth play area work will begin ‘soon’

Rebecca Summers: 'When I grow up I don't want to be a person who closes playgrounds.'

Rebecca Summers: 'When I grow up I don't want to be a person who closes playgrounds.' - Credit: Archant

Walsworth parents and children are looking forward to having a popular play area back in use – after red tape halted work for five months.

Work on the renovation of Walsworth Common play area ground to a halt in September after the discovery that part of the common had special statutory protection.

But work is set to start again soon after the Planning Inspectorate, working on behalf of the government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs approved the application without the need for a public inquiry.

Heather Summers and her five-year-old daughter Rebecca Daniels of Common Rise are cautiously optimistic at the prospect of the imminent re-opening of the play area.

Mum Heather said: “If indeed they are to start work on it again soon it is good news – although you have to ask again why work was allowed to start without planning permission?

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“It still baffles me they went ahead without checking and deprived parents and children of a much-needed play area for almost half a year.

“Green spaces are important for people’s health. I also know many parents have missed not having the chance to spend time catching up while their children play. To not have this facility for five months has been quite depressing.”

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Heather’s daughter Rebecca, who is a pupil at Highover School added: “When I grow up I don’t want to be a person who closes playgrounds. I have missed playing there.”

Councillor Jane Gray, who oversees the leisure portfolio for North Herts District Council, said: “We are delighted no objections to the proposed plans were received and that Defra has now approved the application.

“We would like to thank local residents who supported the plans and we are pleased work will shortly begin to create a wonderful play area for the local community.”

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