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Dad furious his child can’t use play area

Jacob Biggs
Jacob Biggs Image credit: staffordshire-live.co.uk

When Dan Biggs heard there were plans to build a new play area close to the family house in Burton, Staffordshire he was disappointed to read there would be nothing his son Jacob could use.

The youngster has cerebral palsy, his condition means he will not be able to manage the slides and swings being built in the children’s park at Hill Top View estate.

Mr Biggs, 32, launched a petition in a hope accessible features will be taken into consideration when the area is built later this year.

Thanks to the dad’s campaign one of the housing developers behind the play area has agreed to revise the plans so children like Jacob can play in the park.

Biggs, who also has an 11-month-old son, Theo, told Staffordshire Live: "It is absolutely disgraceful.

"I live on the new estate and the plans for a park were shared on a WhatsApp group at the start of the first lockdown and when I looked I saw straight away that there is no accessible play equipment being put in place and as my son, who’s almost seven, and extremely disabled and in a wheelchair, I felt annoyed that he wouldn’t be able to use the park.

"I set to try to see if the developers [Strata and Davidsons] would have a look at resolving this and I have been fobbed off for over a year. Why in 2021 don’t they look at disability access and inclusion?

"I would have suggested a basket swing, a flat floor roundabout and maybe a low level trampoline.

"It is absolutely disgraceful. I feel we are being discriminated against.

"Someone said why not travel to a park? My response was why should I when the park is within walking distance? And if you know the area there are steep hills both sides so we would have to travel in the car and when I’m at work he is too heavy for his mum to constantly lift in and out of the car plus, we have an 11-month-old baby boy.

"It shouldn’t be the case of only some individual’s travel when others don’t have to. Every child has a right to inclusion."

A Davidsons Homes spokesperson said: “The proposed play area has been designed to the approval of the local authority, however we are quite happy to review the equipment which is being provided.

"We would like to liaise directly with the customer as to the most suitable equipment prior to the works being carried out."

Jacob was born 24 weeks early, as well as cerebral palsy he also lives epilepsy.