VIDEO: ‘Loud flutes’ could be removed from new Swindon playground after complaints

A SET of musical flutes may need to be moved from a remodeled children’s play area – after a board has received complaints about the screeching noise.

The play equipment, installed in Eastcott’s Savernake Street play area earlier this summer, struck a chord with young music lovers.

But it left others living near the park feeling flat. And Oliver Saunders, South Swindon Parish Council’s project manager, offered this week to move the implicated instruments to a park in a less densely populated corner of the parish.

Mr Saunders said the newly installed swings, climbing frame and other play equipment received excellent reviews. But he added: “There is a small problem to try to solve, which is very loud musical flutes which are attached to a portico and which irritate the residents.

“I should have jumped on it earlier. When it was built I tested them and couldn’t believe how loud they were then and thought that might be a problem. I should have started planning it then.

They had considered asking manufacturers to modify the five metal pipes that make up the swan-whistle-shaped flutes, which sound when a rod is driven into the pipe.

However, he said: “We couldn’t guarantee that this would solve the problem. The best thing might be to remove the unit completely.

Responding to a remark from a church councilor that the flutes were meant to be soothing, Mr Saunders joked, “Not when played by a four-year-old.”

When the Adver visited the park yesterday, the kids, parents and residents of Savernake Street all spoke up about the popularity of the new playground.

Anna McNaught, 35, said her four-year-old son Thomas loved playing with the new flutes: “The kids love the park and Thomas thinks the flutes sound like a train. It was the first thing he tried.

David Usher, a man from Savernake Street, 66, said of the flutes: “They don’t make any difference to me. My grandchildren love them. This is the most important thing for me. Steve Whitehead, 72, added: “It’s a great park. The flutes can be a bit loud.

Jan McKechnie, 71, said: “I am happy with the park. I think this is a big improvement. The sound of the flutes does not annoy me, but you are aware of it.

Swindon Borough Council said it had not received any noise complaints about the park. The Adver understands that some residents of Stafford Street have complained to the parish.

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