Residents raise safety fears over condition of children’s play park in housing development

Residents living in a Hillfoots housing development have raised safety concerns about the condition of a children’s play park there.

Those living in the Bards Way development, Tillicoultry, have been campaigning to keep the land for public use amid fears that it could be sold off.

Now, concerned townsfolk have raised fears that children could be injured by “unsafe equipment” and a lack of maintenance.

In August last year, we told how residents living within the development had raised concerns that areas of green space within the development, including the children’s play park, had been sold off at auction. They said the sites were auctioned following the sale of several areas of land by the developer, Midway Services Ltd.

Since then, the play park there has been sold off and a new owner has taken over. However, residents say that the new owner has not responded to their concerns about the condition of the facility.
A website, which is being funded through a philanthropic donation, has been launched by the residents to keep the community informed about the sale of land within the development.

In a recent update, the residents group said that they are “disappointed” that the current play park owner, who is understood to have purchased the plot last year, has failed to “recognize that they have a legal, moral and ethical duty of care to protect the safety of play park users” as well as failing to respond to requests made by the Bards Way Residents Group to make the play park safe.

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The group said: “In August 2021, ownership of the play park changed from Midway Services Ltd to a Tillicoultry woman who has a background in children’s play, and since then the condition of the play park has continued to get worse.

“In an attempt to address this issue, the Bards Way Residents Group has written to the play park owner on two separate occasions about the lack of maintenance, unsafe equipment, and the dangerous safety surface, the first time being in December 2021 and again January . The residents’ group has also asked the owner to confirm that she has liability insurance in place. On each occasion, the play park owner did not respond.

“Play park owners and operators have a duty of care to all visitors under the Occupiers Liability (Scotland) Act 1960 to ensure their premises are safe, so someone failing to address the safety concerns is worrying and also potentially a breach of the laws that cover play parks. Legally, it is up to the play park owner to maintain the play park equipment and ensure that it is safe for children to use.”

They continued: “Broken playground equipment poses a serious risk to children’s safety, and for that reason, play equipment should be inspected regularly and broken equipment should be either repaired or removed to prevent any potential injuries. Safety surfaces around play equipment must also be regularly inspected and properly maintained to reduce the chance of a serious injury happening.”

The Observer’s attempts to contact the play park owner for a response to the concerns proved unsuccessful.

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The play park has appeared for sale online, being marketed by solicitor and estate agent firm McEwan Fraser Legal. The land has been marketed for offers of £50,000.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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