Is this the most extreme example of NIMBYism yet?

My attention has been drawn to an attempt to silence a children’s play area by a former Concorde pilot – and his complaint is that it is too noisy (which is what they used to say about the planes he used to fly).

Another resident has complained that the children’s mothers “were really fat”, worse still they were “from Bracknell” and can’t control their children.

As the MailOnline report puts it:

“As a former chief pilot of Concorde, Roger Price knows a thing or two about deafening people.  His supersonic airliner happily hit an ear-splitting 110 decibels on take-off and would often bring conversation to a standstill as it thundered overhead.

But the 67-year-old’s tolerance levels are clearly set a little lower when he’s in his own back yard.   With rich irony, he is trying to close down a local playground because the noise from excited children is too loud. …

The former pilot claims the play area – built around 20 yards from his detached house in Ascot, Berkshire – is ‘severely disrupting’ his life.

He and his wife, Dr Catherine Bentley-Thomas, 51, are fighting a private prosecution to try to force Winkfield Parish Council to shut it.

The local council spent £150,000 adding play equipment to the village recreation field in May last year, but Mr Price said the park was attracting children from outside the area who are too loud.”

According to Dr Bentley-Thomas:

“the sound of just one grandfather pushing a child on the swings had been enough to disturb her.”

The Mail also reports that:

“The residents were accused by  barrister for the council Katie Helmore of not wanting ‘children from less affluent areas infiltrating their community’.

She pointed to complaints from the residents which included that the park was ‘full of really fat women from Bracknell’ who could not control their children.”

Sorry to disillusion these killjoy residents: if you live just by a park you are likely to hear other people and their children enjoying themselves.

Perhaps they should get over it.  After all, it could be a lot worse.

15 thoughts on “Is this the most extreme example of NIMBYism yet?”

  1. Dear Lord Toby Harris,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to construct your blog.
    As you have said ‘It could be a lot worse!’ It is reassuring and comforting to see that this local issue has been recognised by yourself in the House of Lords.

    As a parent I feel very proud to be fighting for my children’s right to play..

    A very big thank you.

  2. Worse than boundary/right of way disputes. Ye’ll never become an elected Lord now ..

  3. Hi Toby

    Just a small point, this article was published by the Daily Mail so no-one should be surprised that most of what was written bore very little resemblance to the truth.

    Point 1, Roger Price was a BA pilot but he did not fly Concorde.

    The rest was equally reliant on the imagination of the journalist.

    What we all said was that we think this is a fantastic playpark but that it has been built in the wrong place. And despite what has been written, there was no consultation, no planning consent, no adherence to play equipment guidelines and it goes on.

    Built at a known traffic hazard junction with no pedestrian access, gaping holes in the hedge, no additional car parking, on the edge of a cricket boundary, with one toilet for 250 people. You could not make this up if you tried and I am amazed that so many mothers appear to be prepared to accept such a sub-standard offering from their Council.

    Winkfield Council were told by Bracknell Council that the way the park was operated last year, it was a noise nuisance. Watch this space. Internal politics is at play and woe betide anyone who dares to point out the deficiencies in the system.

    If you really want to know what is going on, come and see for yourself – but you probably won’t.

    We are not nimbys or snobs, we are ordinary people who want to get on with our lives and if 14 out of the 15 households that live at this junction have raised so many questions, someone should at least be prepared to ask why.

    The Council have messed up, we just want them to do something about it.

    Have a nice day and try not to be so gullible in future!

  4. I am leading this campaign and am so proud of the loacl residents. I agree Toby this is the most extreme case of NIMBYism ever. Thanks for your support.

  5. In response to Mr Price I would like to say that the residents remember the consultation that took place at this site. Also it is baffling what you mean by no adherance to play equipment guidelines as the park was installed by a reputable company who I am sure would know exactly what they should do to meet standrads.

  6. Dear Lord Toby Harris,
    Thankyou so much for taking time to show an interest in our children’s local park. It is a real shame that local residence who have chosen to live in close proximity to a park that has been in existence for many many years even before some of their houses were even constructed. They have chosen to live in a place that has a local park where I sure they have enjoyed the facilities provided in the past. Surely they are not so cocooned in life that they thought an outside place would not attract people to use it. This includes the football teams, crickets teams who I am sure do make noise during their matches.
    Where will this end? Do they really want to stop freedom of play in the community? Are they planning on trying to stop traffic and aircraft noise next?
    Let’s all encourage everybody to enjoy these fantastic outside spaces, far to many people get little or no exercise. Please everybody see sense and support this park and it’s equipment.
    Anthony

  7. Mr Price,

    I suggest you get your facts rights…..

    1. There was a consultation. A presentation open to the public was held in Locks Ride pavillion. 1000 letters were hand delivered to the local area. You did receive 1 of these.
    2. What do you know about play equipment guidelines? Is this part of your training as a BA Pilot? Must be useful.I’m sure.
    3. Any holes in the hedge have been filled in.
    4. There is pedestrian access, maybe you should step outside your front door and walk across the road.
    5. Where did you get the internal political statements from, whom from Bracknell Council spoke to a representative from Winkfield Parish Council?
    6. I have been there, and seen it for myself, and what I see is children playing in a safe environment with play equipment that was installed through a Labour Government initiative, Play England. Maybe your Conservative views are clouding your right wing judgement.

  8. Dear Lord Toby

    Thank you for highlighting this case on your blog. Mr Price states “What we all said was that we think this is a fantastic playpark ” and he is absolutely right. The facilities are amazing and offer children of all abilities a safe and exciting area to play in and in no way is it substandard.

    I am following this case closely as I fear what the repercussions may be for parks not only in our locality but all over our country if this lawsuit succeeds.

  9. Perhaps people should read the post court case news reports that state the facts

  10. Dear Lord Toby Harris,

    It is with great pleasure to write to you today and inform you of the courts decision to dismiss the case brought against Winkfield Parish Council, to have Locks Ride Closed…

    In overwhelming support for the Park, the judged ruled that there was not sufficient evidence to support claims made by Dr Bentley- Thomas.
    The prosecution have now been ordered to repay full legal costs incurred by the Winkfield Parish Council.

    As a member of the ‘Support Locks Ride play Park’ committee, we are delighted with the verdict reached today..

  11. Lord Toby Harris,

    Thank you for highlighting this short lived but significantly important event for the children of Bracknell Forest and Windsor and Maidenhead Boroughs,

    Please see the attached link highlighting the result.

    http://www.windsorexpress.co.uk/News/Areas/Ascot/Ascot-play-area-saved-from-closure-after-fierce-campaign-25052012.htm

    Note to Roger Price

    I don’t know if Lord Toby is your mate but in public forum you should at least address him correctly. It makes it kind of difficult to convince anyone that you have any respect for this countries authorities if you don’t have the dignity to address people correctly. Anyway every day is a lesson and boy was that a costly one.

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