Residents prompt revamp for St Albans play area

PUBLISHED: 16:00 07 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:30 06 May 2010

PEOPLE power has prevailed at a popular play area which was ploughed up and its equipment removed. Residents got up a petition to try and persuade St Albans district council to restore the play area in Runcie Close to its former state and now the swing is

PEOPLE power has prevailed at a popular play area which was ploughed up and its equipment removed.

Residents got up a petition to try and persuade St Albans district council to restore the play area in Runcie Close to its former state and now the swing is being replaced.

Tom Hewins, who lives in the close, said:- "People round here between the ages of five and 50 used that space. Children on their way to Wheatfields and Sandringham school played there. Others used it just to play their games or sit on the swing or just stop for a chat while the children played."

He added that there was a fenced-in play area in nearby Brecken Close which was not so popular and a well-equipped play area in Sandringham Crescent which children had to cross a busy main road to reach.

The Runcie Close play area had been in existence for more than 20 years and Mr Hewins said: "No-one asked us if we wanted to keep it there. They just sent the JCBs in to rip it up."

Councillor Sheila Burton, portfolio holder for sport and healthy living, said: "The swing was removed as part of a move to provide bigger and better play equipment for children in the area. It was about concentrating resources instead of having lots of smaller play areas. But we responded to the strength of feeling in the area and gave them back their swing."

The uprights are in place for the swing in readiness for the seat to be installed later this week.

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Recently we, as a family (minus two of the kids), visited The Lodge RSPB reserve in Sandy, Bedfordshire. I had never been before, which is perhaps amiss of me as a birdwatcher as it is the headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds or RSPB and only 45 minutes drive from home.

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