“Now you can sit on it, now you can’t!”
That was the verdict health and safety-conscious council officials issued after ruling a bench with beauty spot views did not meet their exacting standards, according to baffled residents.
The sitting spot on Thrybergh Lane had gone reportedly neglected and little used for years after initially being gifted to villagers by a resident.
But after the seat, which afforded sweeping views over Thrybergh Country Park, was uncovered and renovated by volunteers at their own cost, Rotherham Council stepped in to remove it.
One outraged resident said: “Apparently, the bench was gifted to the residents of Thrybergh over 60 years ago by another resident.
“The council have removed it, citing health and safety – it’s disgusting.
“If RMBC are worried about health and safety on Thrybergh Lane, then they should be doing something about the speeding cars on there.
“I have also had several near misses with my disabled daughter’s school bus and speeding cars — but they aren’t concerned about that kind of health and safety.
“RMBC should be ashamed of themselves. It’s absolutely disgraceful what they have done and how they have left it.”
Thrybergh Parish Council clerk Terry Craven said the bench, which was at the top of a flight of stone steps, had laid hidden for years and had only come to light because an enterprising resident had cleared the area around it and uncovered the steep steps to the country lane below.
Mr Curran said on finding the bench did not belong to the parish council but to Rotherham Council, he had informed RMBC about the moves to restore it and bring it back into use.
“They investigated and found it to be unsafe,” he said. “If it was to be used, the steps would have needed renovation because there is no barrier. It would need handrails and new steps.
“There are long-time residents who didn’t even know it was there.
“It does give a view down to the country park but just below you is a road.”