RESIDENTS in Mile End have given a resounding ‘No’ to new play equipment being built on their doorstep over fears it will be a magnet for yobs.

At a public meeting in Colchester Rugby Club in Mill Road, residents from Maximus Drive told councillors that installing a play park in their street would effectively wipe thousands off the value of their homes.

The money for the equipment is coming from housing estate developers Croudace Homes, which agreed to spend about £20,000 on a play park when planning permission was granted more than ten years ago.

Carl Smith, 40, who lives opposite Maximus Drive in Caracalla Way, told the meeting if the plan went ahead, the anti-social behaviour in nearby play parks would come to his neighbourhood.

He said: “On an evening it’s a magnet for youths and I don’t want to invite them on to my doorstep.

“On a night, who is going to sort out the kids? Some kind of vigilante organisation?

“You put it on there and everyone’s houses will be devalued.”

Saturday morning’s meeting attracted about 30 people, and was chaired by Myland Community Council’s chairman Robert Johnstone.

It was resolved to ask the developers to use the money to landscape the green area set aside for the play park instead.

Colchester Councillor Martin Goss warned the meeting there was no legal requirement for Croudace Homes to spend the money in this way, and it could just keep the £20,000.

He said: “I think it’s going to be difficult. I understand they have been trying to do this to another parish council for a lot more money. There is light at the end of the tunnel. At the end of a conversation I did agree with him in principle he would let us have £10,000.”

Mr Goss was instructed by the meeting to keep negotiating with the developers for the full amount.