Girl's playground pleas rejected

Emma Butler

Emma Butler

First published in News by

PLANS for a new playground in Raleigh Crescent, Amesbury have been rejected due to lack of support from residents.

The town’s council launched a consultation after they were approached by nine-year-old Emma Butler who asked for more play equipment.

The Amesbury Primary School pupil wrote a letter telling councillors: “Behind where I live there is a small park. Me and my friends think that it should be much bigger. I know that the Government will need to pay for it, but it is worth it, trust me.”

After consulting the other 15 children on the estate, Emma told the council the three small slides, small orange “twisty thing”, bench, two small swings and a miniature seesaw were not sufficient.

She said she would like to see some more swings, a zip wire, a “proper” seesaw and a giant basket swing.

Emma said the Archers Gate estate in Amesbury had four playgrounds with two more planned, but that was too far away for children living in other parts of the town.

Two possible sites for a new playground at Raleigh Crescent were identified by the town council.

Consultation letters were sent to 246 homes in the area and 78 responses were received.

“It was clear that everyone living in Area A wanted the playground to be built in Area B and everyone in Area B wanted it in Area A,” councillor John Noeken told a meeting of Amesbury Town Council last Tuesday.

“Although some people liked the idea in theory there is a real sense of ‘not in my back yard’.

“People are worried about a new play park in that area.

“We should take no further action in the area of Raleigh Crescent and spend the money elsewhere in the town where it is needed.”

The council spent £26,000 updating the existing play area at Raleigh Crescent a few years ago.

Members will now look at spending the money it gets from housing developers on play facilities in other parts of Amesbury.

“We felt for the young lady who approached us and asked for better a playground and we must not let our young people down,” said town councillor Richard Crook.

And Councillor Fred Westmoreland added: “There are parts of this town particularly on the council estates where there is nothing for young people at all.

“We need to look at the entire town and see where the need is.”

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