'Open our park'

PUBLISHED: 11:19 14 February 2007 | UPDATED: 13:48 04 May 2010

Youngsters campaign for their park

Youngsters campaign for their park

SUTTON Parish Councillors are facing a stalemate with a major house builder which they say has robbed village youngsters of their playground. The children have been waiting for three years to get their new swing park but its grand opening has been delayed

SUTTON Parish Councillors are facing a stalemate with a major house builder which they say has robbed village youngsters of their playground.

The children have been waiting for three years to get their new swing park but its grand opening has been delayed by a catalogue of problems.

Now 275 angry villagers have signed a petition demanding urgent action which they presented to Sutton Parish Council at its meeting on Tuesday night.

“We have all these new houses and children are looking out on a playground they can’t use,” said mother-of-three, Tina Newman, of Vermuyden Gardens, Sutton.

“We want the park open and we are fed up with excuses.”

Father-of-three Mark McGowan, of Mostyn Close, Sutton said: “The playground is all equipped and padlocked. Now half of the fences have been vandalised because of the children’s frustration.”

The village’s original children’s playground was demolished in 2004 to make way for new homes being built by Reason Homes at Brook Farm.

One of the conditions of allowing the new development was that the old playground should be replaced with a new one in Sterling Way.

The Suffolk-based developer built the new swing park but parish councillors were reluctant to accept ownership of it until they could be certain it was safe.

They were worried about a drainage pond close to the swing park which has now been declared safe.

But a tree blew down in recent gales and smashed some of the equipment and an inspector appointed by the parish council discovered 10 defects with the park.

Developer Reason Homes, however, claims it has a safety certificate declaring the safe to be handed over.

“The transfer document is with our solicitor waiting to be signed,” said parish council clerk, Rosie Seymour. “But we are not happy to take ownership of the playground until the defects have been sorted out.

“We have given the site foreman a list of the defects and we are waiting for the work to be done.

“Once we sign the transfer document the developer will walk away. We are so close but our hands are tied.”

Reason Homes director, David Wyatt, said: “I have been trying to transfer the play equipment to the parish council for a number of months. The transfer document is in position and we have employed the leading inspectors of playground equipment recognised by ROSPA to inspect the playground and they have given it a certificate to confirm that it is fit for use.”

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