PLANS for a new play area have divided a Ryedale village, ahead of a decision due to be made today.

Developers want to install equipment including a zipwire, two forts and swings on a playing field in Crambeck, near Malton. The application will be discussed by councillors today.

The Crambeck Management Company scheme has caused a village split, with 22 letters of support and 11 objections.

In additon, a 34-signature residents’ petition claims the play area would affect privacy and increase noise and traffic as it may be used by people from elsewhere.

Supporters say the play area will give the village’s children a safe place to play and has been needed for some time.

Among the objectors is Crambeck resident Jennifer Todd. In a letter to the council she said: “A play park of this size and content is not suited to a small, rural village with only a handful of children who may make use of it, and it will be an eyesore in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

Fellow resident Stuart Walker said the play area would “change private village land into public land” and traffic into Crambeck would increase if it became popular with non-residents.

However, Peter Sellar said it would be “a superb amenity and a welcome attraction”, and resident James Szkiler said the field was already used as a play area, adding: “This will simply enhance it and give children in the village a fantastic facility to use and enjoy for years to come.”

Crambeck Management Company’s statement to Ryedale District Council planning officers said a play area was requested in the 2010 Welburn and Crambeck Parish Plan and parents had campaigned for facilities since.

It said a village poll showed “overwhelming support” for the scheme and the play area would be some distance from the nearest homes.

Welburn Parish Council has neither supported nor opposed the application, but said it had taken on board residents’ concerns about traffic issues and the play area’s use, while the results of Crambeck’s survey and a residents’ poll were “conflicting”.

In a report recommending approval, planner Charlotte Cornforth said highways officials had raised no roads concerns and any noise from the play area would be screened.