‘Crazy and unreasonable!’ screams the crowd as a barrier prevents kids from playing football in the park.
THE LOCAL COUNCIL erected a fence in a park to prevent children from playing football, and parents have expressed their displeasure.
Residents who are angry claim that children have been using the space for 35 years.
A feud with neighbors over game complaints escalated to the point where police were called.
Children have been playing football in a corner of the park in Cullompton, Devon, after a resident painted a goal on the side of their garage, which backs onto the clearing.
However, after receiving complaints from neighbors about ball games being played in the park, the council built a diagonal wooden barrier across the makeshift goal.
Children will be unable to play football there as a result of this.
“A bit crazy and very unreasonable,” one local said of the change.
The play area on Headweir Road had been marked as a no-ball games area “for some time,” according to the council.
It also stated that it had a “duty” to ensure that park activities did not cause “nuisance.”
Problems began, according to Brian Reeby, who painted the goal, when a small number of people living near the park began to complain.
He claimed that the police had to be called to the scene at one point to resolve the conflict.
“I painted that goal on my garage about 35 years ago for my son,” Mr Reeby explained.
“I painted the goal so they would kick the ball in the park’s corner rather than near the road, where they could damage cars and pick them up in the road,” says the artist.
“Since then, the goal has been there, and people have loved it.”
According to the council, the park will now be used as “a site for wildlife and habitat creation.”
“Some of the neighbors don’t like balls being kicked over to their garden and children apparently looking into their property,” said neighbor Barbara Gozna, “but it’s the same for all residents living along here.”
“These structures have been there for at least 30 years.”
My father has lived in the last one for over two decades and has never had any issues.
“You just kick the ball back if they kick it into the garden.”
“If I were the kids right now, I’d still be playing football right there and doing it a lot more,” Ryan Howarth, another local, said.
“I believe it’s just a smidgeon.”
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