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Rubber banned in Chippenham
Housing association bosses have ordered families to dismantle a play trampoline because of health and safety fears.
GreenSquare Housing Association has told parents in the two blocks of flats at The Oaks, Chippenham, the trampoline, which has its own safety net and was bought by a resident for the children, will have to come down, or it will be taken away.
Yvonne Archibald, who lives in The Oaks, said her ten-year-old son Michael often plays in the communal garden with other children.
“We have this little patch of green which isn’t being used for anything,” she said.
“The trampoline has a safety net, so none of the children can get hurt, and they love going there. It stops them from being indoors all the time – they get some exercise and play with other children.
“The product is clearly safe – the net is there for health and safety reasons. But they [GreenSquare] have told us that if we don’t take it down, they’re going to come along and do it themselves and then they’ll take it away.”
Mrs Archibald said she believes the decision has been taken because the garden is communal, so anyone could use the trampoline.
“If that’s the case, why can’t they put a gate at either end to stop other children coming in, rather than taking something like this away from the kids who live here?” she said.
“They wouldn’t trouble us if we had a private garden. We’d be allowed to do what we wanted to. This is taking them off the streets, where they could get into trouble.”
A spokesman for Green Square, formerly Westlea, said: “We asked the resident to remove her trampoline from the outside communal area at The Oaks because this space is open at all times, meaning anyone can use it.
Although responsible for the upkeep of the area, we cannot take responsibility for the health and safety of anyone using this trampoline and did not give permission for it.
“We have been asked by the resident whether it is possible to install a gate, so that only residents who live there and have a key can access it.
“We are in the process of getting quotes for this work and have explained we need to consult other residents to check whether there is support for this, and source funding but the trampoline must be removed in the meantime.”
GreenSquare workers yesterday dismantled the trampoline but did not remove it.
Carrie Silk, who lives in The Oaks, bought the trampoline for her 11-year-old daughter, who agreed to share it with other children. Ms Silk said: “The kids can’t even go out and play any more so it’s easy for them to sit around in a stuffy flat watching TV.”