Fitness trail planned for Maitland Park estate

Parents want play equipment

Monday, 28th March — By Tom Foot

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ROWS of outdoor gym equipment, concrete benches and a table tennis table will form part of a new “fitness trail” through Maitland Park.

Camden’s planning committee approved an application to install arm-walkers pull-up bars and exercise benches between the Whitebeam and Rowan housing blocks.

A Town Hall meeting on Thursday heard concerns there were “too many gadgets” in the designs and the gym equipment was not much fun for young children.

Kemi Atolagbe, speaking on behalf of the Maitland Park Estate residents, told councillors: “As parents we would like to see specifically play equipment that children want to play with. We feel the current play equipment does not stimulate the children.”

She added that residents had “not felt involved in the design in a meaningful way”.

A sunken concrete pitch behind Aspern House on the Maitland Park estate was due to be replaced with a new Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) after planning permission was granted back-in 2014.

But it never got built and the council was forced back to the drawing board following a backlash from tenants who feared noisy children and anti social behaviour.

But Ava-Marie – a teenager from the estate – told the meeting adults needed to realise children were always going to be “loud and noisy”.

She told the meeting: “Everywhere says no ball games, which is not the best as most children in the area like to play ball games.

“When we try to play football there is always an adult telling us to stop playing.”

She added: “Children are always going to be loud and noisy, and I think we have to accept that.”

The new fitness trail scheme is described as an opportunity to “promote local ownership of the area”.

Speaking in favour Ash Rahman, a parent in Maitland Park who runs the Pro Touch football academy, said: “This play equipment isn’t just for children and young people. It is for the wider community.

“It is for residents all genders and faith groups. It’s about making sure everyone has a right to play in a secure environment.”

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