Children in tears as play park goes

UPSET: Children and parents at the closed playground at the bottom of Newgate, Lower Hopton. (d06041108)
UPSET: Children and parents at the closed playground at the bottom of Newgate, Lower Hopton. (d06041108)

There were tears at the school gates when pupils saw their playground being demolished as they walked to lessons.

The playground at the bottom of Newgate in Mirfield is regularly used by children who attend Lower Hopton Primary School.

The land is leased to Kirklees Council, but a spokeswoman said that the owner gave notice 12 months ago that he would like to end the agreement.

Parents are outraged that their children will no longer have anywhere to play after school.

Joanne Watson, whose four-year-old twins Sophie and Thomas use the park, said it had been there since she was a child.

She said: “It’s just on the way home from school. It’s such a shame, and there has been no warning. My children are upset about it. There were quite a few kids crying. The park is good for the parents as well because we can chat about what’s going on.”

Paul Bryant, whose son Kai, four, uses the park, said: “The kids all know each other and it’s nice for the parents to get to know each other.”

Michelle Tolley, who owns Feelgood beauty salon nearby, said: “I think it’s disgusting. It’s mean and it’s nasty. You don’t do that to children. It’s like giving children sweets and taking them off them.”

A council spokeswoman said: “The land on which the playground stands was leased to the council and 12 months ago the owner gave notice that the lease would not be renewed.

“The council has looked for an alternative site in the area without success.

“There are two other play areas in the vicinity and these are Huddleston Court and Marshall Street.”

She said that the playground had always been run by the council and that the equipment would be relocated within Mirfield. But she could not name the landowner or say what the land would be used for.

Parents said they had heard that the land is owned by a farmer and may be turned into a roundabout.