DC Casebook: Community facilities - Playground to open despite safety fears

Supermarket chain Lidl has failed to persuade an inspector that it is in the interests of public safety to delay the opening of a playground until after occupation of a new food store and office block in south Wales.

The permission carried a condition requiring provision of the playground prior to occupation of the development. The food store had been constructed but no development had been carried out on the office block. The playground site had a history of tipping of clinical waste and drug paraphernalia and large quantities of waste had had to be removed on several occasions. As this was likely to continue, the appellant argued that the playground should not open until the office block was completed.

The inspector found this a commendable suggestion, particularly given that the expense of building the playground had already been incurred. However, he noted that there was very little outdoor play space in the area and many local people had objected to delaying its opening. He declined to vary the condition, concluding that the amenity benefits far outweighed the risks associated with opening the playground immediately.

DCS Number 100-069-590

Inspector Clive Nield; Written representations.

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