'We have had enough sorrow' - trampoline tragedy site to re-open but with inflatables ban
PUBLISHED: 17:05 07 March 2019
ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434
A seaside play area where a three-year-old girl tragically died could re-open this summer - but without inflatable play equipment.
Ava-May Littleboy died when she was thrown from a bouncy trampoline on to the sands in Gorleston, sparking an outpouring of grief and calls for a ban on the apparatus.
In the weeks after her death on July 1 two people were arrested but the case has yet to be resolved.
Over the summer the site became a shrine to her memory with grieving well-wishers leaving flowers, condolence messages and cuddly toys in tribute.
Graham Plant, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said the authority was looking to reopen the area, but was seeking a change of use which would ultimately ban bouncy castles on the beach.
He said the only permission at the site was for inflatables and that it would be “really insensitive” to bring anything like that back.
Because of the number of incidents around the country and the tragic death at Gorleston the council would not be issuing anymore licences for inflatables, and was even looking to ban them at village fetes, he added.
He said the authority was uncomfortable with having them anywhere across the borough adding: “We have had enough sorrow in the town.”
However, as a popular destination Gorleston needed some fun activities for children and it was hoped operators would come forward with safe ideas and activities that could take place there.
The proposal to retain the beach concession, with a change of use allowing other activities but not inflatables, emerged in papers published this week.
The proposal is part of a wider plan for extra concessions around the boating lake and splash pad.
The papers say: “A change of use is required for the beach amusement concession as the previous planning for inflatables and associated rides requires a change of use.
“We have again been approached for a variety of interesting activities, beach games, and other ideas within this area on the beach.”
Later the documents say: “The beach concession will be available for alternative uses; this is already being mirrored in Great Yarmouth where we have been approached for alternative uses on the beach amusement sites other than inflatables.”