ANGRY families have blasted the secrecy after revelations that a convicted sex offender was living just yards from a children's park.
Peter Lancaster, 36, is due to appear at Chester Crown Court accused of being in breach of a sex offenders' order imposed by magistrates in September 2003.
He is alleged to have been spotted behaving in a lewd fashion outside Elworth Primary School.
Lancaster, who has convictions for indecent assaults on children and indecent exposure, has denied the breach of the order which is due to expire in 2007.
Parents say they are outraged to learn that Lancaster was a resident at the town's Linden Bank Bail Hostel at the time of the alleged incidents.
The hostel in London Road overlooks Elworth Park, a popular spot for many of the town's children.
Robert Gee, a resident on George Street who has a six-year-old daughter, said:'We were given assurances that no sex offenders would be at the hostel.
'I'm not prepared to let my daughter go and play in the park. It's unbelievable that they can house sex offenders 50 yards from a children's park.'
Jeanette Rathbone, of The Avenue Tenants and Residents Association, said: 'Our priority is for the safety of the children. It is up to us to make sure that this does not happen again.
'The hostel is so close to Elworth Park it is quite scary that people with these convictions are there.'
Sandbach Town Council leader John Moore said: 'I don't want the hostel there at all. Parents with children don't want it but there is very little that we can do about it. We are helpless.'
Probation officials in charge of the hostel say no agreement was reached to suggest sex offenders would not be housed there.
Cheshire Probation Area assistant chief officer Keith Ingram said: 'There is no agreement to exclude any offenders from Linden Bank on the basis of their offences.
'We do, however, exclude anyone whom we consider cannot be managed safely in the approved premises. Our primary concern is to protect the public.'
Lancaster has been remanded in custody and is due before Chester Crown Court on March