Video thumbnail, Removed play area in Huncoat
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Angry parents say their children have been left distraught after a popular play area was removed ‘without warning’.

The swings and climbing frame in the field off Station Road in Huncoat were ripped up by council staff this week.

Hyndburn council said the 20-year-old play area has ‘poor access and drainage problems’ and ‘needed to be removed before it became hazardous without any further investment’.

Mum-of-five Lisa Whewell said families in the area are ‘shocked and angry’ and the site now looks like a ‘disaster area’.

The trainee hairdresser said she didn’t know the play area was being removed until she saw diggers pulling out the equipment.

Children's play area off Lowergate Road in Huncoat which has been removed by the council. Back row: Lisa Whewell, councillor Eamonn Higgins, Sharon Morris, Lili-Mae Morris, Sam Kitchen. Front row: Autumn Whewell, Skye Hunt, Merica Hunt, Milly Pedigrew.

She told the Observer: “I couldn’t believe it. We weren’t told about it. I’m really upset. It happened so quickly. My kids were distraught. I have spoken to other parents at the school and everybody is just shocked.

“It now looks like a disaster area. It’s going to break kids’ hearts as they always ask can we go to the park.

“It may not have been the best park but it was still there and now they have nothing.”

Lisa, 34, who has lived on Lowergate Road for four years, said children in the area have nowhere to play. She said: “It’s too far to go down to the play area at Bolton Avenue. If it was to rain then it would be a 25-minute walk back home.”

Ward councillor Eamonn Higgins said he has been told by the council that the play area needed repairs which weren’t ‘economically viable’ and that the council do not have a ‘statutory duty to provide a play area’.

Children's play area off Lowergate Road in Huncoat which has been removed by the council. Inset - how the playground used to look

He said: “There are some Section 106 monies which may be available to the council shortly. I think we should explore the possibility of putting a play area at the bottom of the Memorial Rec.”

A Hyndburn council spokesperson said: “In 2012 the council secured funding to upgrade play facilities in Huncoat and the Station Road Rec play area was one of a number of possible locations considered for upgrade, with repositioning of the site and an access path proposed.

“We consulted with residents in the immediate area about the proposals and, as the majority of respondents said they didn’t want the play area there, the money was invested to upgrade play facilities for children in the community in nearby Bolton Avenue.”