A DANGEROUS play park left to rot before being cordoned off for safety reasons will be renovated and reopened at long last.

Dirty equipment and crumbling stone steps in Wallis Drive Play Park in St Andrew’s Ridge forced safety officers to temporarily fence off the recreational facility.

This led to calls from neighbours in the area for the play park to be saved from closure and restored to its former glory so that families can start using it again.

After asking for the borough’s help but being told there was no money available, the parish council has decided to spend thousands of pounds to pay for the full cost of the renovations.

One mum who wished to remain anonymous said: “It’s been cordoned off because it’s not safe and it’s been falling apart for years. It’s in such a poor condition now and there’s a terrible mess.

“We were told by Vera Tomlinson that it would not be closed down and councillors have tried to get it done up but there’s not enough money.

“The one on Highdown Way was renovated and it looks lovely now but why can’t they do the same for this one?”

Coun Tomlinson told the Adver that she had originally wanted the borough to pay for the stone steps to be made safe while the parish covered the majority of the repair work’s costs.

However, after learning that this proposal was not actually possible, the parish decided to pay for everything. The project has not yet been fully costed but a rough estimate puts the figure between £6,000 and £10,000.

Coun Tomlinson said: “Over the years, the borough has allowed the play park to fall into disrepair, so much so that it’s now in a very dangerous state.

“We felt the children could not be deprived of their play park, so we will put it back into good order and carry out any necessary repairs. There’s no point doing it half-heartedly so we will make sure it is very good.

“We envisage that it will be reopened by summer so that families can enjoy using it again. Until then, the Highdown Way play park is quite close by and usable.

“The parish council were extremely unhappy with the lack of support from the borough but we have halted the closure of the play park and taken a new course of action.

“More should have been done to get the play park in decent order before we were expected to take it over.”

A meeting with the council leader David Renard earlier this week left Coun Tomlinson feeling hopeful that help could be at hand but a follow-up visit by borough council officers to assess the state of the site proved otherwise.

She was then told that there was no available budget for play areas that could be used to pay for the renovations.