Ball games no fun for residents
A CALL has been made for improvements at a play area in Peterborough amid reports stray footballs are damaging neighbours’ vehicles and homes.
The plea over Century Square, off Waterloo Road, has come from Peterborough city councillor John Shearman, who represents the Park Ward.
It follows what he describes as “continuing complaints” about footballs being kicked from a fenced play area on the site and damaging nearby property.
Cllr Shearman said he has heard of dents to car bodywork and at least one broken house window.
The damage is being done typically, but by no means exclusively, he says, late at night.
A nearby street light which illuminates the court means games often continue until 11pm or midnight, he said.
He said: “Whenever I go around to talk to people they complain about the footballs coming over. It’s a regular thing.”
He says a factor potentially exacerbating the issue is that as the facility belongs to the community, rather than the residents, it attracts people from further afield who do not have a vested interest in the area.
He said: “People who come in from the outside don’t have any loyalty towards the residents.”
In light of the complaints, he is calling for two main improvements to the play area.
The first is for the perimeter fence be raised to the same height as it is behind the two basketball backboards.
The second is for the court to be locked each night.
He said: “This will require work done to block-off the present openings.
“I have discussed this with residents and a number of them are willing to undertake the locking and unlocking on a rota basis.”
He said making the improvements to the play area should be a priority for those responsible for the play area.
He said: “For the residents of Century Square: They live there, they have to put up with this nuisance. They put up with their cars being damaged and they would like to see their complaints taken seriously.”
The complaints over the stray footballs are the latest issue to arise for residents in Century Square.
In October, the Evening Telegraph reported about vandals felling trees in the area.
Concern has also been raised in the past about littering, graffiti and drug use.
Peterborough City Council, which has responsibility for the play area, said it is listening to residents’ complaints.
Cate Harding, central and east neighbourhood manager at Peterborough City Council, said the current issues at Century Square were being examined as part of Operation CAN-DO, a regeneration scheme for the Millfield and New England area.
She said the authority was working with Cambridgeshire police, Enterprise Peterborough, registered social landlords, NHS Peterborough and the local mosque to identify improvements and solutions to some of the area’s “longstanding issues”.
She added: “No intervention will take place without full consultation with the local residents and we welcome the local community’s suggestions for improvements and their involvement in the full process going forward.
“I urge residents to attend the neighbourhood committee meeting for the area, which is at the Town Hall on Monday at 7pm. During the open forum part of the evening people have the opportunity to raise issues they have and item suggestions for future meetings.”
CALL FOR ACTION: Councillor John Shearman has called for improvements to the play area in Century Square.