Retrospective planning permission is to be sought for zip wire posts at the new play area at Ridgewood Recreation Ground.

Row grows over newly-installed play equipment at Ridgewood

Calls are being made for some pieces of newly installed play equipment on Ridgewood Recreation Ground to be removed.

Mr Peter Selby, writing on behalf of “various residents in Ridgewood” is demanding that Uckfield Town Council:

  • Removes a zip wire and frame
  • Removes a tall climbing frame (with cover)
  • Removes a covered shelter
  • Removes the multi-use games area
  • Removes a metal fence around play area to be replaced by timber rustic-style fence
  • Improves screening between the play area and the existing hedge.

The higher pieces of equipment have been highlighted but residents of New Road also argue that the play area should never have been extended beyond its original site and that a new fenced multi-use games area shouldn’t have been built on the village green.

Meanwhile a petition has been launched by Josh Gibbens, of New Town, Uckfield, to stop the removal of the play equipment.

He is urging Ridgewood and Uckfield residents to sign the petition which says: “Without this invaluable equipment and play area, we believe that it’ll have a detrimental effect on the wider community as well as our children, in addition to future generations of children.

“If you also support the play park, please sign this petition to show your support. By supporting this petition it’ll show the town and district council that many local residents support the play park.”

Mr Selby’s email has been published as a supplementary paper and added to the agenda of Uckfield Town Council’s environment and leisure committee.

He says: “The reasons for this requirement have been well chronicled in previous emails and correspondence. It is understood that certain of the above items are subject to enforcement proceedings by Wealden District Council.”

The town council has already decided to submit a retrospective planning application for the zip wire after being advised by Wealden Council that it is higher than that allowed under permitted development rights.

The town council has previously told Uckfield News: “The land upon which the Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) is proposed to be sited falls outside of the common land/village green status acquired by the town council in 1978 for the main area of the recreation ground.

“Works to upgrade the play area are considered to fall outside of any restricted works and there is still a large area of land available whilst this upgrade takes place, on which residents can enjoy and exercise their Common Land rights.

The council’s environment and leisure committee is due to meet on Monday, October 24, at 7pm in The Council Chamber at Uckfield Civic Centre. The meeting will be open to the public.

• The petition to stop the proposed remove of playground equipment on Ridgewood Recreation Ground can be found here on the change.org website.

Our original story on Wednesday, October 19: Uckfield Town Council is to submit a retrospective planning application for a zip wire on the newly-extended play area at Ridgewood Recreation Ground.

The zip wire is 4.8 metres high, 0.8 metres above the four metres allowed under the council’s permitted development rights.

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Adult gym equipment is included on the expanded play area at Ridgewood Recreation Ground.

Their ‘urgent consultation panel’ met to consider issues relating to the zip-wire and was told about the height restriction being exceeded. Members unanimously decided the zip wire should remain in its current location and that an application should be made for retrospective planning permission.

The infringement was discovered by Wealden planning enforcement officers who investigated after complaints from New Road residents.

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A new shelter and fenced children’s play area on Ridgewood Recreation Ground.

Those residents were upset that, as neighbours, the town council didn’t consult them formally about plans for the playground.

One of them, Annette Butler, told Uckfield News the extension was massive. “Why they don’t think they require planning permission for this I don’t know. I am appalled at the town council.”

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The new multi-use games area on Ridgewood Recreation Ground.

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Land has been built up on Ridgewood Recreation Ground to ensure the new multi-use games area is level.

A Wealden Council spokesman told Uckfield News yesterday that the only infringement of planning rules was the height of the zip wire.

He said anything above four metres – this is 4.8 metres – required planning permission and the town council was advised to submit a planning application for that part of the design. The rest was in keeping with permitted development.

The town council’s urgent consultation panel decision is to be reported to the environment and leisure committee at a meeting on Monday, October 24. Members are asked to note the decision.

Read more about residents’ fight to stop the play area being extended here: Last ditch effort to stop work on Ridgewood play area fails, and here: Planning enforcement officers to investigate building of extended play area at Ridgewood.

See also:

Uckfield Model Railway Club show remembers former chairman Keith Nock

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Demolition of Luxford Field car park toilets comes closer

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