Wait goes on for promised play park

“DISGUSTED” residents have demanded answers from developers who promised children a new play area after building on a space they loved – but have only delivered a big hole in the ground.

Youngsters have been waiting more than two years for a kick-about area, described as “the life and soul” of their community, to be replaced after it was lost to 133 homes off Stowford Rise.

Howarth and Baker Close householders were told new play provision would be provided and even saw plans – but feel no closer to seeing them become a reality, 18 months after the first families moved into the first completed dwellings.

They say the spot where children were promised stepping stones and swings is dominated by a “dangerous” ditch to cater for a once-in-a-century flood event.

“I was shown plans for a play park and kick-about area, and instead of that we’ve got a huge crater and a heap of nettles and brambles,” said granny Jan Jones. “We’ve been waiting and waiting. There’s all those houses but not a single thing for the children. I’m disgusted.”

Mum-of-two and town councillor Dawn Manley added: “They took away, promising to give back, and they haven’t fulfilled their promise.

“The kids have gone for two full summers with nowhere to play. It feels like nobody cares about us. We just want answers.”

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Jan and Dawn said an existing play park, in Howarth Close, is unsuitable for youngsters as it is a hidden hub for teen drinkers where they’ve found needles in the bushes and even a samurai sword.

The area they thought would be a kick-about space in the nearly-complete development is currently an uneven plot directly outside one property’s front door.

Parents don’t even know what happened to goal posts, they raised cash to buy, from the former field.

Devon and Cornwall Housing (DCH) was given planning permission for the development, on East Devon District Council (EDDC) land, in December 2009.

An EDDC spokesman said: “DCH are aware of residents’ interest in the play area issue. We understand that a representative of DCH will be discussing this matter with the house-builders today (Friday, September 14) and a clearer picture of what facilities may be provided should be available next week.”