Tangmere playground proposals are withdrawn

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Developers have withdrawn plans to relocate a playground in the village of Tangmere after major concerns regarding safety were raised.

Barratt David Wilson Homes put in plans to re-site a playground currently situated in Churchwood Drive to an open space in the south east corner of the Blenheim Park development.

The playground, known as a LEAP (local equipped area for play) is being moved from the original site near Churchwood Drive because it is currently too close to several homes, being less than 20 metres away from the fronts of plots 33 to 36.

This goes against the recommended separation distances for residential properties and playgrounds.

In the plans submitted to Chichester District Council, the company said the current location would result in unacceptable noise levels, nuisance and disturbance to residents.

On Monday Barratt David Wilson Homes decided to withdraw its application for the relocation following concerns from a number of different parties.

CDC’s senior community safety officer Pam Busby said there could be an issue with visibility for manoeuvring vehicles and suggested moving the access gate for the playground to the north.

She also said there would need to be adequate lighting to ensure safety, but also provide reassurance to residents.

In her comments she said: “The LEAP looks to be well-placed in close proximity to the houses and whilst these would provide good surveillance there may well be an issue of noise nuisance to those residents closest to the equipment.”

Sussex Police’s crime prevention design advisor Phil Edwards said he had concerns about the position of the parking bays to the north west and south west and the proposed vehicle manoeuvring area to the west elevation.

“I feel that visibility for both motorists and LEAP users will be reduced significantly and could have the potential for a vehicle pedestrian collision.

“To assist in alleviating this, consideration should be given to the repositioning of the entry gate to the north elevation.”

Residents who have purchased homes near the proposed site before had also raised a number of concerns including access and safety, the possibility of anti-social behaviour.

There were also concerns by residents who brought their properties more than two years ago, before the LEAP relocation was proposed, about the effect of the LEAP on property prices.

Lindsay Freestone said: “We have been in touch with a local estate agent who has informed us that properties with a LEAP in clear view can be a negative for the majority of buyers should we decided to sell.

“This means our property may not achieve the same value as it would without a LEAP – as it was when we purchased – also it may take longer to find a buyer who is happy to have a LEAP in front of their property there we would incur more mortgage payments and rent whilst waiting for a buyer.”

Residents said when they moved in, their customer reservation list stated this area would be an open space and wanted it to stay as such.

People were also concerned about the close proximity of the proposed access for the LEAP to residents’ parking and any possible floodlighting.

Tangmere Parish Council said it objected to the plans.