Roads close to let children play safely in Lewes streets

Parents are being given the chance to apply for temporary road closures as part of a street play trial scheme
Parents are being given the chance to apply for temporary road closures as part of a street play trial scheme

Parents and youth groups in Lewes are being given the opportunity to request temporary road closures to let children to play on their streets in safety.

Lewes District Council say the idea has been successful in other parts of the country and can help children and young people to improve their confidence, self-esteem and resilience.

The council recently been agreed to a request from residents in Wheatsheaf Gardens, to close their road to hold a Play Street event.

One resident involved in the event said: “My children aged five to 13 all really enjoyed the freedom of playing outside together. It was lovely to be able to spend time with neighbours and chat knowing the children were safe.

“It brought the community together.”

The council now hopes to grant similar requests and is inviting parents, residents and youth groups apply for regular street play schemes.

Applicants will have to demonstrate that at least 60 per cent of residents and businesses affected agree to the road being closed for at the suggested time.

Parents and other residents should be available to supervise the play and ensure the road is closed off to vehicles with signs, allowing for access to residents to park in existing bays.

Lead member for customers and partners at Lewes District Council Cllr Tony Nicholson said: “Following a request from residents in Lewes interested in running regular playing out sessions in their street, we want to make it easy for parents and neighbours to apply to close their road and turn it into a play out area. I’m sure people can remember the benefits of playing out in the street many years ago and the strong community spirit it fostered between neighbours and parents.

"By running this trial for a few months throughout the summer, with the help of parents and neighbours who have requested street play in their road, we will be able to devise a process that works for all.”

The current legislation requires an application to the local authority for a temporary road closure using the existing road closure procedure.

Residents in the road where the proposed play street is situated must agree to the idea.

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