Reporter: LUCY KENDERDINE
Date online: 23 May 2014
AN after-school children’s club has been told to remove an “industrial style” fence after the council ruled it breached residential planning conditions.
Big Stars Play Club, on Broadway, Chadderton, put up the metal fencing around a car park to create a safe area so children could play outdoors.
A neighbour complained the design didn’t fit with the residential style of the area and didn’t comply with conditions set in the planning permission.
But the club, which caters for 30-40 children before and after school believes the fence erected is necessary for safety an doesn’t want to change it.
Part-owner Cathy Stryczek said: “I am unbelievably angry at how we have been treated. A neighbour complained and since then we have been threatened with action. We have tried to contact the planning office on many occasions to see where we stand but we haven’t heard anything back.”
The club moved to Broadway last year and is run by Cathy’s daughter Claire, on the floor above Cathy’s cake shop. The pair applied for planning permission to use the car park as a children’s playground.
Permission was granted with conditions about the type of fence that could be used. The club later erected “more secure” fencing.
“If we take down the fencing and replace it with what the council has approved, the children and the centre will not be as secure or safe,” said Cathy. “But if we don’t take it down, we could eventually face legal action.
“I cannot believe the council is behaving like this when the safety of children is concerned.”
Elaine McLean, Oldham Council’s executive director for neighbourhoods, said “Fencing and a gate are of an industrial design and out of keeping with the residential character of the area.
“A letter was sent to the owner requesting necessary steps to resolve the issues.”
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