The swings and roundabouts saga of shut Middleton play park

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A play park where children are not allowed to play could now be reopened after a roundabout move by council officers.

The facility, in Middleton, was opened with a flourish by developers Crest Nicholson exactly two years ago – then promptly closed down by the council three weeks later.

During this time police were called out ten times by residents complaining of noise and stone-throwing by older children commandeering the swings and slides.

The area was firmly fenced off and Crest Nicholson, after consultation with the council and other authorities, drew up plans to remove all play apparatus and turn the area into a tranquil pond.

But this week council officers swung the other way completely and recommended the planning application be refused – because it was against the city’s play policy.

“The play area meets all criteria,” they insisted.

The see-saw decisión has enraged many residents on Far Holme, whose houses are a few metres away.

“It was only open for a couple of weeks but it made our lives hell with all the noise and trouble,” said one.

Others though were pleased by the officers’ decision. “It’s a lovely park and it’s crazy that our children couldn’t use it,” said a mum-of-three.

Planning councillors will next week decide whether or not to accept the officers’ recommendation.