CAMPAIGNERS calling for a new playground “have not fully thought through their proposal”, a critic claims.

Stephen Wiggs, who lives in Woodford Green, slammed plans to build a play area on The Green in Monkhams.

Parents, carers and children are urging Redbridge Council to approve plans to build the area. and maintain the natural equipment.

But Mr Wiggs, 68, says the land should be kept as it because campaigners already have everything they want.

He says: “It would be most unfortunate it was approved. We don’t want unnecessary man-made objects there.

“Sometimes developments are essential but I don’t think this is the case. I don’t know what these petitioners want that isn’t there already. I used to play on The Green as a child.

“I can’t see myself supporting this in any circumstances. There are plenty of opportunities for play. They are not in an inner city area with no room. The parents should think about the whole community.

“I don’t know anyone personally who supports this.”

Mr Wiggs, who was born in Woodford Green, hopes members of the Woodford Green Amenity Group and Friends of Epping Forest will back him. 

The Woodford Green Amenity Group, set up by Mr Wiggs in the 1970s, opposes the “inappropriate developments”.

Mr Wiggs added: “What the petitioners have failed to consider is that this land has special legal status. It’s forest land protected by an act of parliament. It’s adjoining a number of listed buildings and it’s in a conservation area.

“I am not sure they have taken this into account. The view is iconic and hasn’t changed since Victorian times. You see All Saints Church and even older buildings. It shouldn’t be changed.

“They talk about natural equipment but that can be just as intrusive as metal frames. I don’t think this idea has been fully thought through.

“I trust the council and City of London Corporation will take the right decision on planning grounds.”

So far, 1,035 people have signed campaigners’ petition. Those who hope to create a play area are aiming for 1,500 signatures.

Mother Meg Bruce, who is supporting the campaign for the playground, said: “We expect that there will be those who are against any change on The Green.  It is a beautiful spot.

“Our only agenda is to work  to have a play area on the Green.  There are those who resist change , but there is a change in the demographics in the area and it is time that these hard working families were given a bit of support. “