A RESIDENT of Skares has defended the decision to restrict usage of its playpark.

He spoke out after the Chronicle was made aware of row that has split the community due to the facility being locked up by a nearby householder most of the time.

Asking not to be named, he said: “As a resident of George Terrace I can safely say that the resident who locked the park did so after the amount of littering, abuse from visitors, illegal parking and cluttering of vehicles, dogs let to run loose and defecate in gardens, and more.

“Another issue is people parking in front of the houses and looking in windows, which is an invasion of privacy.

“We recently stumbled upon the planning permission which states that the park was meant to be built in a different location and because of this we felt that we had been lied to and mistreated by local authority.

“After all, we are an independent street in Skares, the park was initially built for the children of Skares only — as we were led to believe — and currently the children of Skares are the only ones who are granted access.

“The stress and unfairness of the controversy upon the park has become overwhelming and we all feel that the park doesn’t have to be removed, but rather moved to a more resident friendly area.

“We would like to reiterate that we are not a ‘harsh hearted and selfish’ group as has been suggested, we’re just simply residents trying to live in peace and work together in a way that benefits both the people who want the park and the people who don’t.”

Fellow resident Ruth Shipstone added: “It is worth highlighting that although the gentleman who is most vociferous about the problem works full time, he also has a profoundly disabled housebound daughter and a wife who stays at home full time to care for her.

“This gentleman’s daughter has had people parked outside the house staring in through her bedroom window rather than supervise, or better still play with, their own children in the park.

“She is unable to get up and draw the curtains to stop them. His wife has been verbally abused by people who object to her desire to park outside her home so that she can get the wheelchair in and out of the car.

“The majority of the people in Skares want the park to remain and do not want to see it locked, but we have to find a solution to this situation that gives the residents of George Terrace some respect.”

At a recent meeting in the village, several suggestions were made to address everyone’s concerns.

Among the ideas discussed were installing a disabled parking space while other options include making the park smaller or even moving it to a different location.

Ms Shipstone had contacted the council planning department but was told, in their view, that the park had not been in breach of planning.

In addition if anyone had wanted to object, they only had ten years in which to do so, but that period has now lapsed.