Leave it alone, say Bourne residents

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RESIDENTS are calling on a developer to drop plans to change a grassed area used by children to play on.

Parents in Betjeman Close, Bourne, want to keep the area, which is fenced off on one side, just as it is.

However, residents say they were shocked to see builders move on to the site and start work about a month ago.

The say the open space was going to be landscaped and a footpath created to lead to nearby Elsea Park. The work was being carried out by Kier, the developer of nearby Elsea Park

The residents contacted Kier, which has since stopped the work to consult people.

Yana Nicholls and neighbour Michael Fleming, who both live in Betjeman Close, both have concerns.

Mrs Nicholls, who lives with husband Tim and their two children aged seven and nine, and Mr Fleming, have commended Kier on the work it is carrying out at Elsea Park - but said the plans to adapt the grassed area were not necessary or wanted.

Mrs Nicholls’ family have lived in their home for four years.

She said: “We are very positive about what they are doing but we do have concerns about the health and safety of our children with the introduction of the path they want to create.

“It was always a safe fenced-off place for our children to go and play in, but it won’t be if Kier goes ahead with its plans.”

Mr Fleming, 54, who has lived with his family, including two teenage children in Betjeman Close since 1999, said: “We just want it to remain a safe area for our children to play in.

“Even when it is dark, we know that our kids are safe there as there is nowhere else they can go.

“We understand that the idea behind the plans is to integrate our area with Elsea Park, but other than this there is no logical reason for them to put the path way in place. Kier could have at least put a notice up or sent a letter through to everybody here to let us know what they had planned.”

A Kier spokesman said a consultation was under way and no further construction would take place until it had been completed.

Bourne town councillor Judy Smith is backing the residents.

She said: “The residents have used this as a play area for many years and they would like to retain it as just a play area – rather than a landscaped area with a footpath.

“I have contacted South Kesteven District Council’s planning department and they are looking into the matter.”

The district council’s head of development and growth Mark Williets added it was speaking to Kier to try to understand their plans and address residents’ concerns.