'˜No short term solution' for soggy Petworth play park

Sections of the beleaguered play park at Hampers Green are still unusable behind a fence despite being completed before Christmas.

Saturday, 16th April 2016, 6:10 am

And problems remain for Petworth Town Council which built the play park along with another in Rosemary’s Gardens at a cost of some £80,000.

In contrast to the success of the town centre facilities, the Hampers Green play park has been at the centre of controversy after wet weather has left it sitting in a quagmire.

Nearby residents who warned the site was prone to flooding say they are being subjected to noise and nuisance at night as young people have broken through the fence. They say it has even been used as a ‘doss house’ with two people sleeping there overnight.

Leading protester Tracey Mawby says she is at the end of her tether with the antisocial use and her complaints are being ignored.

“All in all, this has turned Hampers Green common into a rubbish tip, full of kebab wrappers and empty bottles and cans of alcohol. It is quite frankly a doss hole for youths to hang out and drink alcohol illegally,” she told town councillors in one of several letters asking them to take action.

“I have now witnessed not only children but adults playing in what should be, the cordoned off area.”

In a further letter she said: “My partner was walking the dog around 10pm and witnessed activity in one of the towers. It sounded like youths laughing and joking. My neighbour was also awoken at 2am by his dog barking and could hear activity and saw the glow of mobile phones coming from the tower with music being played.”

Town council chairman Chris Kemp said: “Unfortunately the whole area is soaking wet because we have had the worst weather since 1910.

“We are trying to negotiate a settlement with the contractor to finish the job, but it is going to be a lengthy process because we are going to have to wait until the area drys out.

“We want to sort the problem out so it doesn’t happen again next winter. We are looking at drainage schemes but there are no definite plans yet.”

He said the fence was being inspected regularly to try and ensure it remained secure.

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