An early Christmas present for kids as park finally opens

Headteacher  Colin Rainford and pupils celebrate a good Ofsted report at Hayling College     Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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A PLAY area has finally opened – almost seven months after building work had finished.

The park at Seafire Road in Cherque Farm, Lee-on-the-Solent, was completed back in May.

But there were delays in developer Persimmon Homes handing over the park to Gosport Borough Council, leaving children nowhere to play.

The park was closed throughout May half-term, the six-week summer holiday break and then more recently, the half-term break in October.

But after help from Lee-on-the-Solent councillor Graham Burgess, the fences were removed and the park was opened to the public.

Jodi Apicella, who has two young boys, Luca, six, and Jack, five, said it was a relief.

'It's brilliant. It's absolutely amazing,' said the 37-year-old from Seafire Road.

'It has been very frustrating, in particular with Persimmon because they just didn't seem interested at all.

'I think Cllr Burgess has done a great job. Since he became involved, it was opened within about six weeks.

'It's just nice to know that the neighbours together with the council have done everything they can. We're very relieved.

'The kids were having so much fun. It's going to get used a lot.

'I'm hoping all the residents will keep it nice.

'It's very much needed and we appreciate it.'

The News first reported on the play park delays in September.

Then Persimmon blamed a delay in getting health and safety reports before the land could be handed over to the council, which will take over its maintenance.

Tory Cllr Burgess said: 'I'm really pleased that it's open.

'What has annoyed me is the amount of time it's taken to get it sorted out between Persimmon and the council.

'But it's now open and the kids are very happy. It's an early Christmas present for them. I'm pleased I've been able to get things moving and bang a few heads together so that common sense prevailed.'

The managing director of Persimmon Homes South Coast Andrew Golawski said in a statement: 'Following the completion of necessary health and safety reports, the play area has been successfully adopted by Gosport Borough Council which has subsequently allowed us to open the area to the public.'