Residents in court battle over play area

PUBLISHED: 15:49 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 14:48 25 August 2010

OUTRAGED residents have taken their council to court claiming that they were not consulted on plans to build flats on a playground.

OUTRAGED residents have taken their council to court claiming that they were not consulted on plans to build flats on a playground.

Residents from Harold Gibbons Court in Victoria Way, Charlton, were shocked when they realised that construction work metres from their home would see an end to their play area.

Building work began a year ago, but residents say they thought it was temporary as they were not consulted.

High Court proceedings, lodged against Greenwich council and Charlton Triangle Homes, should be under way by tomorrow.

Solicitor Poly Glynn, of Pierce Glynn solicitors, said it was "shocking" that the council and housing association sold off the play area without any proper consultation.

Father-of-four Raymond White, 62, of Harold Gibbons Court, is annoyed that the estate he spent 25 years on has lost a safe play area.

He said: "My four girls have all used that playground. Let's face it, there are not that many places around here I'm happy with the kids going to.

"The fact is that no one was consulted. It is disgusting."

Mr White, a truck driver, said the housing association was normally excellent and made an effort to keep the estate tidy.

But he added: "This time they seem to be trying to pull the wool over our eyes. They just seem to hope that no one will complain."

Charlton Triangle Homes are currently building six two-bedroom flats and three one-bedroom flats on the former playground.

Leyla Field, a 27-year-old mother of two living in Harold Gibbons Court, said her seven-year-old son, Maison, tends to stay indoors now that he cannot use the play area.

She said: "I want them to stop the building work and give us back our space. Other estates have their own park area, and Harold Gibbons Court should have too.

"If I had known about it, I would have objected straight away because this monstrosity outside our flats is wrong."

Triangle Homes Housing Association said the former play area was a "magnet for vandalism" while there is still a ball court nearby in a neighbouring street.

Meanwhile, a Greenwich council spokesperson completely denied that residents were not consulted.

She said: "All measures were taken to publicise the development proposal, by way of advertising in the local media and at the site, inviting all tenants and residents in the surrounding area to offer feedback.

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