'It's like something from the Soviet Union': Rugby residents baffled by the case of the disappearing playground

A workmen helps to dismantle equipment at the playground.
A workmen helps to dismantle equipment at the playground.

Residents at the Edison Place housing development off Technology Drive have been left baffled by the disappearance of the site's playground.

John Redpath, former headteacher and acting chairman of the Edison Place Residents' Association, contacted the Advertiser after the series of events, which he said reminded him of something from the Soviet Union.

He said: "We have just set up a residents' association and on Tuesday [October 8] we had our first meeting of trustees.

"A couple of trustees live opposite the park and they said they could see something was going on."

It emerged that workers were removing the park equipment - and this continued for the next two days until everything was gone.

Mr Redpath said: "No-one had warned us or told us what was going on.

"It reminded me of something from the Soviet Union," he joked.

"When I went to the St Modwen office on Wednesday they didn't know what I was talking about."

Mr Redpath said staff at the office made some phone calls and then told him that the council had stated the park was not up to standard.

He said it was implied that workers from Rugby Borough Council were the ones clearing the park.

So Mr Redpath called Rugby council, which confirmed it had not sent anyone to dismantle the park or remove equipment.

The mystery is solved

A Rugby council officer informed Mr Redpath this morning, October 10, that the council had found the developer, or their sub-contractor, had used sub-standard quality equipment and surfacing and street furniture to build the playground.

And a spokesman for Rugby Borough Council told the Advertiser: “We worked closely with the developer throughout the planning process to ensure the play equipment at Edison Place was supplied by a member of the Association of Play Industries (API) and the surfacing and street furniture met the standards which the council use as a benchmark for safe and secure play areas in the borough.

“However, after a post-installation inspection confirmed the completed play area did not meet the specifications agreed during the planning process, the council has been in regular dialogue with the developer to resolve the issue.”

A St Modwen Homes spokesperson did not mention that they had constructed the playground with materials that were outside of their agreement with Rugby council, but they apologised for any disruption the removal of the playground has caused

The spokesperson added: "We are in the process of upgrading the playground to improve the experience for the local community and work to install the new equipment is due to begin during the week commencing Monday 14th October.

“Once the equipment has been installed, and all necessary checks have been carried out, we hope to open the playground by mid-November.

"We will be writing to residents imminently with information about the schedule of works.”