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Families still waiting for new play area

FAMILIES on the new housing estate east of Melksham have expressed frustration over the delay with the installation of a play area.

As part of the conditions of planning permission being granted to build the housing estate, the group of developers were legally bound to provide a Neighbour Equipped Area for Play (NEAP) and a multi-use games area for the community.

This was meant to be installed by the time the 301st occupant had moved into the estate. Wiltshire Council has confirmed that the 301st occupant has moved in, but not specified when.

Melksham Without Parish Council say they have been left in the dark by Wiltshire Council about when the play area will be installed.

Richard Wood, chair of the parish council said, “A whole season’s worth of play has been lost, which is very disappointing. We don’t know why there’s been a delay but it’s been quite obvious for some time that more than 301 people are living on the estate, so the play areas should have been available for the spring and summer months.

“There’s been a failure in communication and it’s very frustrating. It’s a pity Wiltshire Council couldn’t have pursued the developers more vigorously.”

A spokesperson for Wiltshire Council said, “The location of the play area was moved due to a change in the application for the school. We always talk to developers to ensure they meet their obligations, however unfortunately there has been a delay installing this equipment. We have been liaising with the developer and we are meeting with them again later in the week to discuss the situation.”

Mike Simmons, senior project engineer at Brookbanks, which managed the development said, “There has been a delay in the installation of the play area (NEAP) mainly due to the expansion of the primary school playing fields area, which has meant the NEAP being moved slightly from its original planned location.

“The layout and revised location of the NEAP have now been agreed with the Local Authority planning department. The play area is generally a grassed surface and construction is therefore dependent on suitable weather conditions for seed sowing, but works are planned to commence in the next week or so. The play equipment is on order and will be installed following ground preparation works.”