Council digs up newly laid out ‘handball court’ after residents complain about loud children

A concrete slab used by local children for handball in a small Brisbane park was ripped out just months after it was laid, all because some local residents complained about the noise.

The park, located in the urban village of Kelvin Grove in North Brisbane, is popular with primary school-aged children who live in high-rise flats nearby, and the smooth concrete surface has been a welcome addition to their playing time.

But Brisbane City Council (BCC) said the slab was never intended to be used for handball and had to be moved to another park following complaints.

Local resident Colonel Dorber told ABC Radio Brisbane that children were playing in the park every day.

The concrete slab, intended for a ping-pong table, was only laid three months ago.(ABC News)

He said the concrete slab, measuring four meters by five meters, had only been in place for three months.

It was removed around 7 a.m. Thursday by two diggers and five workers.

“They can’t believe it, they’re just amazed that their garden was torn up and no one else asked them.”

Local resident Travis Andreas, who has previously called the council to complain about the park, said his main concern was the lack of parental supervision.

“We don’t have a problem with kids playing handball, it’s just that the sound gets louder and it’s a distraction in the evening when you’re trying to eat quietly and relax,” he said. .

“[It’s] noisy enough that you have to close the windows every night.”

Mr Dorber said the council’s decision was a disgrace to the children.

“I’ve never heard a complaint, all I see are happy kids laughing and screaming and running around. They look like they’re so happy,” he said.

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Council workers dig up a concrete slab used by children for handball

“And it’s a place where they can exercise. We hear all these complaints about obesity and kids not playing. Here’s a nice backyard and the council, without consulting the residents, the tore.

“Someone took away some of their joy and happiness and that’s not fair or reasonable.”

A local boy, Yu Chan, was particularly upset by the decision.

Local boy Yu Chan is very upset
Local boy Yu Chan is very upset that he lost his handball court.(ABC News: Lily Nothling)

“We want to play handball. Why did the handball court disappear? he said.

Tori Thompson, local resident and mother, said it was a big overreaction.

“I’ve never seen anyone come and complain about the noise while we were here,” she said.

“My sons are out every afternoon with all the kids in the neighborhood and yes they are noisy but it is a park.

“Don’t live with a park in your midst if you don’t want noise.”

Local Tori Thompson with her young son
Tori Thompson said parks are where kids can make noise.(ABC News: Lily Nothling)

Another local resident, Marie, said the concrete slab prevented children from playing on nearby roads and driveways.

“Every afternoon and all day Saturday and Sunday the kids were playing, lining up, resolving the conflict that happens when you play handball,” she said.

Marie said she had no idea about the complaints.

“The noise I’ve always heard is just the sound of young children playing, and it’s a nice soothing noise.”

The council plans to move the slab to a larger park nearby

A BCC spokesperson said the slab was intended to serve as the base for a permanent table tennis table “as part of the Commonwealth Games legacy celebrations”.

“One of these tables was intended for placement in a small park in the urban village of Kelvin Grove, however the council has received complaints from residents about noise after the concrete foundation was installed,” the council said. spokesperson.

“The concrete slab was never intended to be a handball court and it will be removed.”

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Graham Quirk answers questions after the removal of the concrete slab used by the children

On Thursday afternoon, BCC Mayor Graham Quirk said he hoped children could still enjoy the facility once it was moved to the larger park about 300 yards away.

“The kids in the area are obviously upset. They want it, the residents don’t, and so we’re moving it to somewhere that’s fairly close but where we also think there will be a lot less resistance in terms of residential complaints. “, did he declare.

“Council is sometimes caught between a rock and a hard place on these things. Obviously the kids want the facility, the parents are worried about the noise of the facility…those are the things that the councils deal with .

“To make everyone as happy as possible in this situation, we will move it nearby to a larger area and I hope children and parents can enjoy it in peace.”

Council workers using an excavator to dig a concrete slab in a park
Council workers arrive with excavators and trucks early Thursday morning.(Provided: Mary)