Wed, 21 Mar 2018
A NEWBURY mother has been left bewildered by the decision to ban a trampoline from her communal garden because of its potential “hazardous” nature.
Alicia Dry, 23, was ordered by Sovereign Housing association to take down the trampoline, which her three-year-old son shares with other children at 44-50 Chaucer Crescent, Newbury.
In a letter sent to Mrs Dry on February 2, Sovereign warned residents they had seven days to remove items from the internal hallways and garden, or risk losing them.
This was after housing officers noted during a fire risk assessment of the building that these areas were in an ‘unacceptable’ condition and noted the trampoline in the garden had no safety net or sides.
Mrs Dry got rid of the old trampoline and spent £40 on a new one – with safety net and sides – and installed it in the garden, believing it would better comply with the association’s health and safety procedure.
More than two weeks later, on February 19, Mrs Dry received a second letter from Sovereign informing her that all items in communal areas would be removed.
The letter added it could not comply with the request made by Mrs Dry to keep the trampoline.
For fear of losing her brand new trampoline, Mrs Dry put it in her shed, where it has since remained, but has been left angry by Sovereign’s “lack of transparency”.
She claimed that, when she moved into the property two years ago, her former next door neighbours kept atrampoline in their garden, which was in a worse state than her original one.
Mrs Dry also maintains that when Sovereign came round to carry out probation checks in the past, it did not request for her trampoline to be removed.
She said: “Why are they suddenly doing this now?
“What Sovereign are doing just infuriates me.
“There are five children in the block who share the garden.
“Now they’re bored because they don’t have their favourite toy.
“It’s what they most enjoyed.
“I’m just furious.”
In a statement, Sovereign highlighted the decision to remove the trampoline was not final, adding it welcomed discussion with residents in a bid to find a potential solution.
But it confirmed it would not insure the trampoline, as it is a personal belonging.
A spokesperson for Sovereign said the association was looking at what improvements could be made, such as investing in more outside storage for residents to use.
A statement from Sovereign read: “We have to take into account the safety and the considerations of all our residents at Chaucer Crescent, but we completely understand the frustration this decision will have caused to some of our residents.”
Asked whether it had acknowledged Mrs Dry’s effort to install a safer trampoline, Sovereign said that, while it may be safer, the garden should be “clear, tidy and available for all residents to be able to use” and that trampolines or large climbing frame garden equipment could not be kept in communal areas.