Playpark reprieved – for now

3511004 SSFF winifred playpark 'small playpark at Winifred Street, Kirkcaldy which the Council are considering turning into allotments

3511004 SSFF winifred playpark 'small playpark at Winifred Street, Kirkcaldy which the Council are considering turning into allotments

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A RUNDOWN Kirkcaldy playpark which was earmarked for closure by Fife Council has been given a stay of execution.

The toddlers’ facility in Winifred Street was set to be used as extra land for allotments following an independent annual inspection which showed it needed a lot of work and recommended that the play equipment be removed as it was reaching the end of its safe operational life.

A questionnaire was sent out to 152 households in May, asking residents for their views.

Only 21 were returned, with just six in favour of keeping the play area.

On that basis, it was decided that the land be given over to extend the allotments next to the park - but the decision angered a number of nearby residents who said it was the only play area for local children.

Melvin Barnes, who lives in Winifred Street said: “It’s true that the playpark is poorly attended, but if you visited it, you would see why; it is clearly neglected and has been poorly maintained.

Weed-ridden

‘‘Ironically, the allotments adjacent to the park also suffer from neglect. At least a quarter of the ground is weed-ridden. It hardly seems sensible to sacrifice a children’s play park under such circumstances.”

He added that the poor response to the questionnaire was not enough reason to get rid of the park, and has urged others who feel the same way to get in touch with Councillors

Alice Soper or Judy Hamilton who are both in favour of keeping the park.

Poor response

Cllr Soper, chairman of the Kirkcaldy area committee, said: “I don’t think we can draw any conclusion from such a poor response to the questionnaire and I think we need to sit down and talk this through.

“If people want to contact me and tell me their views then I would be happy to take them forward.”

Peter Howden, development manager with Fife Council, said: “The consultation came back suggesting that the majority of those who responded were happy with the suggestion to remove the play equipment and replace with more allotments.

“However in light of recent concerns we have now agreed there will be no further action until we have met with the councillors to agree a way forward.

“It’s important to stress that if the equipment deteriorates to a point where it is unsafe, we will have to remove it immediately.”