RESIDENTS are calling for transparency and consultation from the town council when it comes to the redevelopment of a play area.

Plans are underway to install new equipment and refurbish Henry’s Way play area in Lyme Regis, a project being led by Lyme Regis Town Council, but residents close to the park - for children aged nine and under - say they are unhappy with some of the proposed equipment and lack of consultation.

It has been an item which has previously been discussed as exempt business during committee and not for the public to hear, due to including financial quotes, with councillors proposing installing tall towers in the park, which would impact on the privacy of the nearby residents.

At a recent meeting of the council’s town management and highways committee, resident Nigel Ball said: “Can we pleased get this item for discussion out of exempt business. We just need to know what’s being proposed and you owe us that as there has been no consultation over it.

“Public consultation should have taken place way before or as the process took off.

“We at Henry’s Way are in favour of new equipment on a like-for-like basis. The equipment that was proposed would be very intrusive to owners of houses surrounding the play park.”

Another resident also said that the proposed height of the towers would mean people could look into the upstairs windows of the surrounding homes and they would be very intrusive.

Councillors agreed to discuss the item out of committee but would not mention any financial figures.

Cllr Jeff Scowen said: “I think it is perfectly reasonable what the members of the public are asking, that we get rid of the two towers – there’s one that supports a slide and the other a zip wire.

“What they are asking for is very reasonable and I think we should do that.”

Cllr Cheryl Reynolds asked why the town council consulted with local school children on what they wanted to see at the park if they were not going to take any notice of them.

She said: “This was sent out to both primary schools to ask the kids what they wanted. We shouldn’t have even considered doing that unless we were going to take notice of what the children decided, and I think that makes it all very difficult.

Cllr Michaela Ellis said that the council needed to respect the wishes of residents.

She said: “It needs sorting out and I think what we need to do is replace like-for-like age-wise up there.

“If the children liked these other bits of equipment, then maybe we should be introducing more at the Anning Road play park. I think the toddler part at that play park needs more equipment anyway – we did say we would look and put more equipment there.”

Cllr Scowen added that this was something the council should learn from and that residents should have been consulted first.

Cllr Steve Miller said: “This is a question of balance, it is a balance between what the children would like and what they would like to play on, and being mindful of those residents in the immediate area.

“We have got two options, if we lean against where we were going in the first place, which was a full refurbishment, or if we push to refresh the equipment and do a very basic refurbishment on the ground level.”

Councillors agreed to refresh the equipment with like-for-like and put money left over from the project, which is being financed by Section 106 money earmarked for play areas, towards toddler equipment at Anning Road play area.