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Brent Council had planned to improve endangered playground

PUBLISHED: 14:35 05 November 2014 | UPDATED: 15:33 05 November 2014

Young users showcased their arts and craft skills to raise profile to the campaign

Young users showcased their arts and craft skills to raise profile to the campaign

Archant

Town hall bosses scrapped plans to make an array of improvements to a popular playground in Stonebridge which is currently battling for survival, the Times can reveal.

Scores gathered outside Brent Civic Centre to issue the petition to the leader of the councilScores gathered outside Brent Civic Centre to issue the petition to the leader of the council

An upgrade to facilities at Stonebridge Adventure Playground (SAP) formed a key part of a greater proposal to expand neighbouring Stonebridge Primary School, according to report by Brent Council’s strategic director of regeneration and growth.

Glynis Lee, who has managed SAP with husband Douglas Lee, since it first opened in 1976, said: “We would like to hear from members, especially those who have remained silent during the debates, why they seem intent on destroying this place.

She continued: “I think the community has shown week after week through this paper [the Times] how the Playground is very important to them, how much it is valued and the lengths they are prepared to go to protect it for future generations.”

Under the plans detailed in 30-page dossier, the play area in Shakespeare Road, would be improved and re-configured to serve neighbouring Stonebridge Primary School during school hours and the greater community at other time.

The centre opened in 1976The centre opened in 1976

It adds: “Re-modelling of the Adventure Playground would benefit the whole community qualitatively, particularly with Stonebridge park having the most residents aged 5 to 19 in the borough.

“Improved playground may also contribute to fostering good relations and reducing anti-Social Behaviour and crime amongst the young.”

In a reverse of fortune, the centre, which was named the Best Community Organisation at the ‘Love where YUH live’ award, will be reduced to rubble to make way for the expansion of the nearby primary school and new homes current proposals.

A smaller unsupervised children’s play area and an altered open space will also be built for residents in the ward –regarded as one of the most deprived in the country.

Boxer Audley Harrison is supporting calls to save the playground (Pic credit: Angela Blake)Boxer Audley Harrison is supporting calls to save the playground (Pic credit: Angela Blake)

Cllr Margaret McLennan, lead member for regeneration and housing at the council said: “When reviewing options and designs in detail, proposals are often redeveloped and changed.

“In the case of the Stonebridge Primary School proposals, it soon became apparent that the most feasible solution for the much needed expansion would be the proposal currently being consulted on.

“We are welcoming all feedback and thoughts on this proposal before another report is submitted to cabinet.”

Last week campaigners handed in a 1,000-signature petition to Brent Council against the plans.

They gathered the signatures in just two weeks.

Supporters include boxer and Big Brother contestant Audley Harrison who used the centre as a youngster.

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