How long? Future of padlocked Stevenage play area still unclear

This Stevenage play area in Bray Drive has been padlocked for more than a decade.

This Stevenage play area in Bray Drive has been padlocked for more than a decade. - Credit: Archant

People frustrated that the gate to a Stevenage children’s play area which has been padlocked shut are considering starting a petition to bring the facility into public use.

The play area in Bray Drive is believed to be the responsibility of a developer when it built homes

The play area in Bray Drive is believed to be the responsibility of a developer when it built homes in Great Ashby as far back as 2003. - Credit: Archant

The playground in Bray Drive was created as part of the housing development in the Great Ashby area dating back as far as 2003, but despite being open in the past, is currently padlocked shut.

The boundary between Stevenage and North Herts falls on Bray Drive, with the play area falling under the jurisdiction of Stevenage Borough Council, but the local authority says the playground remains the responsibility of the developer.

It is widely understood locally that the developer is Persimmon Homes, but a spokesman for the company was unable to comment at this stage.

Young people living in Great Ashby have been climbing over the fence to use the facility, and now residents have taken to social media to vent their frustration – suggesting a petition may be the way forward.


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Councillor Phil Bibby, who serves the Woodfield ward on Stevenage Borough Council, said: “This is not in council ownership, and all attempts to get the developer to carry out repairs to bring it up to a usable standard have failed. They are the ones who have locked the gates to discourage use.”

The council is planning a review of the 58 play areas it currently manages and maintains, with the aim of retaining 50.

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Councillor Bibby says the possibility of the local authority adopting the Bray Drive facility will be explored as part of this review, but there is a chance the playground could end up being dismantled.

Suggestions on Facebook that North Herts District Council has agreed to take on responsibility for the park have been refuted, with a spokesman confirming that, while it may prove frustrating, it is a matter for the developer and Stevenage Borough Council to resolve.

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