Jennett's Park residents call for action to finish off playground on the Bracknell estate

Published: 7 May 2014 17:302 comments

ANGRY residents are demanding a playground in one of Bracknell’s biggest estates be completed imminently – with work weeks behind schedule.

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Parents have spoken of their frustration that the main playground near Jennett’s Park community centre – which was due to be completed when 1,000 homes were built – is still fenced off.

More than 1,300 houses have now been built on the site, but residents claim there is no sign of it opening.

Ami Cramp, 21, said she usually takes her three-year-old son Zach Hill to play away from the neighbourhood but would be happy to stay locally if the large park was opened.

She said: “I would be more inclined to stay in Jennett’s Park if the bigger park was open because the two already there are quite small. In the warmer weather and for parents who cannot drive, I understand why the park would be important for people.

“It is like a lot of things on the estate that are unfinished, like the shops and the roads. When it is completed I would definitely take Zach there as he has just started to ride a bike so that would be really nice.”

There are two smaller playgrounds – in Osprey Avenue and next to Jenn-ett’s Park Primary School in Tawny Owl Square – but residents say these are insufficient for the number of people now living on the estate.

Local Labour councillor Mary Temperton raised the issue at a meeting of the full council last Wednesday.

She said the work should have been completed by Easter. “The trigger point for the main play area was 1,000 houses,” she told the Midweek.

“The excellent play equipment is in place, but the landscaping of the surrounding area has not been completed and there is builders’ rubble wire and metal protruding through.

“The soil has not been rotavated, graded or seeded despite the excellent weather of the past two months.”

In a statement, Jennett’s Park Consortium, which comprises Persimmon Homes and Redrow Homes, said: “There are currently three children’s play areas at Jennett’s Park, two are in use and one is due to open in the summer following completion of landscaping and lighting.

“We are continuing to

liaise with Bracknell Forest Council around the ongoing maintenance of the parks and we are taking every step to address any issues as a matter of priority.”

Cllr Chris Turrell, executive member for highways and planning at Bracknell Forest Council, added he wanted to see the playground opened as soon as possible.

He said: “We’re keen to push these things on so residents get the facilities that have been promised to them.”

Regarding the need for a local shop, council leader Paul Bettison said the delay had been because it had been difficult to find someone to take the unit on.

Jennett’s Park Consor-tium said negotiations with

a retailer, as yet unnamed, had reached an advanced stage.

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