Site for Tangmere playground under discussion

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Residents in Tangmere have appealed to developers to find a solution over a proposed playground which was sited too close to the houses it was meant to serve.

The issue dates back to 2007 when developers Seawards were given the go-ahead for the Blenheim Park development off City Fields Way. As part of the planning permission, a fully-equipped playground had to be sited within the housing scheme, with money which was part of a legal agreement.

The proposed playground site was purchased by David Wilson Homes, with the attached planning permission but residents said they were not aware the playground was going to be built.

When work started it became clear it was far too close to their homes, in some cases just three metres away from their doors, with residents concerned about noise and it attracting anti-social behaviour.

A public meeting on Tuesday organised by Tangmere Parish Council to specifically discuss the issue heard that after the 95th house was built, David Wilson Homes should have checked the plans for the playground.

But parish council chairman Andrew Irwin told the meeting it was not until after the 107th house had been built and sold that developers realised just how close the playground would be to people’s homes.

The company is now proposing to move the playground to an open space adjoining Nelson Close and Churchwood Drive and has submitted a planning application to Chichester District Council.

But Tangmere Parish Council said this green area was protected as an open space in perpetuity.

The plans have upset residents who have lived there for many years because it will mean the loss of a much-loved green space.

One resident said: “I do not understand why it is that we are losing our open space rather than you looking to within the development and your own area and putting it there.”

Technical director James Dunne said it wanted to work with residents to solve the ‘oversight’.

“We are not going to shy away from our responsibilities we have to give due consideration to everybody,” he said.

“There is clearly an issue here where standards haven’t been followed. We feel that it is something that needs to be put right from what was clearly an oversight at that early stage.”

Mr Dunne said sites in the south east and north west corners of the open space had been discounted but was willing to look again at the south east corner after residents at the meeting said it may be appropriate.

Cllr Irwin said the parish council would put together its formal comments regarding the proposal at a meeting of its environment committee.