Estate’s play park is rubbish say residents

From left, Harrison Winfield, three, Gemma Frost, Jack Marjoram, two, and Julie Marjoram with the new play equipment. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150078-148)
From left, Harrison Winfield, three, Gemma Frost, Jack Marjoram, two, and Julie Marjoram with the new play equipment. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150078-148)
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FAMILIES who bought homes on a new estate are angry developers have not created the children’s playground they were promised – and instead will spend £20,000 on a sculpture.

Redlands Grange, between Emsworth and Westbourne, is a development of almost 300 homes.

Gemma Frost, her sister Julie Marjoram and their parents all bought properties on the estate and a big selling point was the children’s play park close to their homes.

They were told it would have a sunken pirate ship and stimulating equipment for the children to enjoy.

But the only things there are a raised walkway, a slide, a sandpit and some stumps.

And they are angry that £20,000 of the cash the developer had to hand over to the council to be put back into the community is to be spent on a piece of art.

Miss Frost, a 33-year-old mum of one, said: ‘It’s not in the interests of the local residents who would rather see the money be spent on the play area which is, quite frankly, rubbish.

‘It’s not fenced in and dogs are free to foul in the sandpit and by the slide.

‘I’ve tried to discuss it with the council about building a fence around it and perhaps introducing a swing rather than spending £20,000 on a sculpture but was basically told if I wanted any improvements then I need to raise money to improve it.

‘There is a sandpit by the entrance of the park and dogs are let straight off their leads where the children are playing.’

Mrs Marjoram added: ‘The children find the play area boring. We were promised a sunken pirate ship and more.

‘It could really do with some more equipment, some swings, zip wire, seesaws and a playhouse.’

The council has confirmed the cash for the sculpture is ring-fenced, meaning it cannot be spent on the play park – which is the responsibility of Bloor Homes, which would have the duty of putting a fence in.

Bloor Homes, which is selling the properties, said it is down to the builder, Bellway Homes, but it has raised the issue with the council on the residents’ behalf.

No one from Bellway was available.