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Dad fears children will fall through 8ft gaps in new ‘dangerous’ play area

Andrew Stott said the playground floor in Ashford, Kent, was quite hard and he feared a child could really hurt themselves if they fell.

Andrew Stott says the bridge is unsafe and too high. (SWNS)
Andrew Stott says the bridge is unsafe and too high. (SWNS)

A dad has said he is concerned children will be seriously hurt in a new play area he describes as “dangerous”.

The play zone in Ashford, Kent, reopened in September after a refurbishment but father-of-three Andrew Stott doesn’t think it’s safe.

The 36-year-old fears kids will fall through “huge 8ft gaps” in the bridge built as a part of the council’s £1.1 million "play regeneration project."

Ashford Borough Council said the Central Park play area was designed to meet the appropriate European safety standards for play equipment and surfacing.

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The new play area in Ashford, Kent. (SWNS)
The new play area in Ashford, Kent. (SWNS)

Construction worker Stott, who lives in the surrounding Park Farm area, wants netting beneath the bridge and for builders to close the gaps between the stepping platforms.

He said: "The number one concern with this play park is the bridge.

“There should also be netting up there as it is quite high - it must be seven or eight foot.

"There are huge gaps in between the steps and I feel like it is a real problem for children - they can slip through.

"I'm quite scared if a child falls through and puts themselves in danger."

Stott said the playground floor was quite hard and he feared a child could really hurt themselves if they fell from the bridge.

After posting on Facebook, he received a positive response from concerned parents.

Stott added: "I had some mums private message me telling me they were also concerned.

"Some people also messaged me to thank me for raising the concerns so hopefully we can get things moving forward.”

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The play zone reopened in September after a refurbishment. (SWNS)
The play zone reopened in September after a refurbishment. (SWNS)

A parent responding to Stott’s post said they only let their children play on the site if they’re careful.

They said: "I’m glad someone else thinks it’s a danger zone.

"It’s beautiful, yes, and most of the bits are cool, but there needs to be some casing I think to the bridge, and that big slide that’s just been turned to face the other way is a death trap," they wrote.”

A spokesman for Ashford Borough Council said: "As the play area has been assessed and approved by an independent specialist, it has been installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions and our grounds maintenance team inspect the equipment on a weekly basis for any required repairs, we do not believe there is a need to revise the design of this play area."