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Ashford Designer Outlet closes bars playground on year's hottest day

ByCharlie Harman

Families have questioned a shopping centre's decision to close part of a playground due to "a bit of sun".

The kids' area at Ashford Designer Outlet opened in May with a Garden of England theme.

But at the weekend, parts of the £400,000 playground were roped off on Saturday, the hottest day of the year so far.

Parts of the playground were closed over the weekend. (13340074)
Parts of the playground were closed over the weekend. (13340074)

McArthurGlen could not expand on why the decision was made but said it was due to "extreme weather conditions".

A statement from an McArthurGlen spokeswoman later said: "Over the weekend, a small section of the children’s play area was closed off due to extreme weather conditions.

"The temporary closure was a precautionary measure whilst the majority of the play area remained open for everyone’s enjoyment.

The slide was closed off because of the heat. (13340282)
The slide was closed off because of the heat. (13340282)

"The wellbeing of guests is our number one priority and the full play area has now reopened as usual."

Rope barriers had been placed on the slide and trampoline, with attached signs reading: "For your safety this playground feature is currently closed.We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

The playground is divided into age-appropriate sections, with the closed equipment constituting a large part of the array for under-five-year-olds.

The trampoline was also closed over the weekend. (13340290)
The trampoline was also closed over the weekend. (13340290)

One disgruntled mum, whose three-year-old son was affected by the closure, said: "It was a bit of sun at the end of the day. It's crazy that they've built a play park and then tell people you can't use parts of it.

"I just think that when you're spending all that money, this should've been taken into account.

"If you go to a playground on a hot day, it's a shame when all the parts for the older kids were open but there wasn't much for the younger ones.

"I don't think it being shut was warranted - if you were that stressed about the heat you wouldn't go out at all.

The state-of-the-art play park cost £400,000 to build. (13340088)
The state-of-the-art play park cost £400,000 to build. (13340088)

"The barrier that supposedly shut them off did nothing, because the kids were running underneath it and using the equipment.

"They must've known when building it that the sun would hit it.

"For the little 'uns that's all there is, so to keep them off it was a shame."

The playground is now fully accessible.

For more information on the Ashford Designer Outlet and its play area, visit https://www.mcarthurglen.com/en/outlets/uk/designer-outlet-ashford/

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For more ideas on days out with the family, click here.

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