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Levels of noise and disturbance from new Calthorpe Park playpark

Reported anonymously at 12:28, Sunday 20 September 2020

Sent to Hampshire County Council and Hart District Council less than a minute later

While clearly a popular new asset for the local area, the newly opened playpark on Merivale is a constant source of noise and disturbance from 7am upto 9pm, 7 days a week. Then around 11pm-12pm when teens congregate in the park.

I'm not describing the noise of children playing, I'm talking about the constant screaming and shouting - and it's not just the children! The level of noise is well above 50db and occurs for a minimum of 14hrs a day, everyday. There is zero consideration from parents that this is a residential street.

Also the playpark has introduced equipment which is noisey by design - the clacking mechanism of the zip slide, the wooden boards designed to have balls kicked against it, the squeaking swings and merry-go-round, the hollow wooden castle which thumps when children run and jump on it. All of this can be be heard when inside a property, not just outside in the garden.

Also the additional noise from much more road traffic and street parking. The slamming of car doors throught the day as visitors arrive and depart. Parents who shout to one another as they say goodbye. Zero consideration. And residents have lost the ability to have any parking for visitors due to the all the extra vehicles on street, most of which pay no mind to the white lines marking people's drop curbs.

We have gone from being one of the quieter streets in the area (when the school is closed) to one of the noisest. And I'm not suggesting the children don't have a playpark or that children shouldn't play and have fun, but it's clear that zero consideration has gone into planning for this additional noise. Not one structure or barrier has been erected to help dampen the noise. This park is a only a few metres from the street were residents live, you cannot have your windows open anymore or enjoy your outside space without being onslaughted by the constant noise. Even then due to the nature of this area and the dip it is in, all sound is directed towards the houses.

If you are affected by the additional levels of noise and disturbance created by the newly built children's playpark on Calthorpe playing fields - please contact Hart council Environmental Health and raise your concerns.

They're current stance is that a playpark will generate "reasonable" levels of noise and any current concerns are outweighed by the needs of the children - what I have described cannot be considered "reasonable" levels of noise. They are not considering the fact this is new constant noise disturbance for 14hrs a day, 7 days a week for the residents that lived here before the park was built.

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  • Also to consider, while we are living with a covid crisis and having to observe social distancing and schools are going to great lengths to create "bubbles" to protect children - all of this is out of the window as hundreds of adults and children are visiting this site and not observing any social distancing. For example: the children leave the local junior school having been in "bubbles" then all mix together in the park.

    And how is any of the equipment or seating, which is being constantly touched, being treated to help stop the spread of covid?

    Pay and visit and see for yourselves.

    Posted anonymously at 12:47, Sunday 20 September 2020

  • The area, including the car park, was estimated to cost £269,500. One can only imagine the final cost. The council could have installed sound dampening for around £10,000-£12,000 and still should. A small amount considering the overall estimate and would offer a huge difference to quality of life for the residents.

    Posted anonymously at 18:42, Sunday 20 September 2020

  • And once again another evening where the teenagers visit at midnight. Screaming and shouting aggressively at the top of their voices! You can hear them smashing bottle after bottle against the equipment. One resident asked them to leave but this only antagonised them and they become more aggressive and sweary.

    Unfortunately the Police had to be called on 101 and they said they had received another report. Who wants to waste Police time during the covid crisis for idiot teens, but residents need to be able to sleep and the council have simply said incidents have to be reported at least 5 times to get a "community trigger" whatever this is? Even then the people acting anti socially have to be identified by an officer and the the council will "work with them to address their behaviour"! This is not a solution.

    Hart council Environmental Health have said this site is run by Fleet Town Council so it's their responsibility and will take no further action to address any noise complaints.

    The community safety team who deal with CCTV have said there is no CCTV installed yet. Not sure what good it will do anyway as Hart District Council do not have patrolling officers during the day or evening, nor do Fleet Town Council so they won't be responding to real time issues.

    So the council build a park right across from residential housing, with a castle structure allowing sheilding from the wind and rain, knowing that all local parks have an issue with late night congregation of teens - and then when we get teens turning up late at night hanging out in the castle, expect the residents and Police to deal with the issue. It was all predictable and known. What will it be like when the gate to the car parking area is opened and people turn up with cars and mopeds late at night?

    Please make complaints to Fleet Town Council in writing:

    Posted anonymously at 01:37, Thursday 24 September 2020

  • Still open, via questionnaire, 17:46, Sunday 18 October 2020

  • To date Fleet Town Council have ignored all of my emails. Hart Council refer my complaints to Environmental Health who have all stated this is not their issue to resolve or address. The councils are failing to address residential complaints so failing their commitments to the public of Fleet. Who do we complain to now, central government? Who's job is it do deal with noise + health and safety concerns?

    Posted by Local resident at 17:52, Sunday 18 October 2020

  • What is the point in the newly installed CCTV if no one is monitoring it? It's another Sunday past midnight and a large group of teenage lads are gathered in the play park (off Merivale) and acting anti-socially. The Council do nothing, the Police do nothing. It's a disgrace to the tax paying residents!

    We have to listen to shouting children all day and shouting teenagers all night!

    Please do your duty Fleet Town Council and monitor this site and take action as we were told you would do before you built this site. So far you are ignoring complaints - your silence on this constant issue is deafening.

    Posted by Local resident at 01:05, Monday 19 October 2020

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