Hitchin five-year-old left ‘sad and upset’ after playground work halted due to bureaucratic ‘red tape’.

Rebecca Summers left 'sad and upset' at the halting of work on the children's play area on Walsworth

Rebecca Summers left 'sad and upset' at the halting of work on the children's play area on Walsworth Common - Credit: Archant

A five-year-old Hitchin girl and her mother have been left ‘sad and upset’ after work was halted on a playground due to bureaucratic ‘red tape’.

Heather Summers and her five-year-old daughter Rebecca Daniels of Common Rise, face the prospect of being unable to use the play area at Ransom’s Rec on Walsworth Common, possibly for several months.

Mum Heather said: “Rebecca and I are upset at not being able to use the playground. But it’s not just us, many parents I’ve spoken are angry too as their kids have nowhere to play. We pay North Hertfordshire District Council alot of money and they aren’t doing a good job.

“First the council rip down our play area with only four days warning, then they didn’t even bother to get planning permission for the work. It’s a ridiculous situation, negligent even – how did they not check before starting?”

Rebecca, who attends Highover School added: “I’m very sad. I don’t think they want us to have a playground.”

Improvement work which begun in September, expected to finish in eight weeks, was stopped as parts of the domain are registered as common land – resulting in consent being required to carry out work because of special statutory protection surrounding it.

NHDC discovered a special application to the government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs may be needed for the refurbishment to continue. The application may take months to complete and be approved.

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District council leader Lynda Needham said: “We’d like to sincerely apologise for the delay to the renovation of the play area.”

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