Councillor fights to keep play park open

DM15116330a.jpg Play area in Larkspur Close, Littlehampton. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150922-192811008
DM15116330a.jpg Play area in Larkspur Close, Littlehampton. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150922-192811008
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A COUNCILLOR is fighting to keep a Littlehampton play park open after residents were informed of its impending closure.

Brookfield district and town councillor Alan Gammon believes Arun District Council should be rejuvenating the facility, in Larkspur Close, rather than shutting it down.

“I think this is wrong,” he said.

“They should have consulted the public.”

Mr Gammon said that he heard about the closure when residents received letters to inform them of the planned closure.

He instigated a leaflet drop to gauge support for keeping the play park open and feels there is enough support for it to be maintained.

Arun has directed residents to the nearby facilities in Brookfield Park, less than ten minutes’ walk away from Larkspur Close – but the councillor said this would not be convenient for parents with young children who could currently let them play outside their homes.

He said: “I think if it was maintained to its proper standard it would have probably been used more.

“I believe the public should be treated a bit fairer than this.”

Arun has marked the play park as a non-priority site in its Play Strategy document, alongside dozens of others across the district.

Such play parks are not specifically earmarked for closure but their futures are decided as the equipment requires replacing.

For some facilities, this could be up to ten more years.

A spokesman said: “Play provision across the whole district was examined, using a large amount of demographic data and best practice guidance with the proposals presented being designed to make best use of resources and to create a more sustainable offering of play areas fit for use in the future.

“Decisions made were based on a wide range of information including usage levels, play value, accessibility and provision of alternative facilities in the local area.

“Brookfield Park and the surrounding area contain significant alternative play area facilities which cater for a wide age range of children and can be enjoyed by local residents and visitors alike.”

The spokesman added it planned to landscape the play park back to grass and would encourage the community to use it as an informal play space.