TERRIFIED parents have banned their kids from playing outside their homes because of a large “death trap” pond they fear they could fall into.
One dad told how he has reluctantly had to stop his two young daughters using the playground on their new estate because it is simply too dangerous.
7Residents of a new housing development are kicking up a stink about the state of the siteCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd7Dad Mark, pictured with his kids, say it is dangerous to let their kids play outside most of the timeCredit: News Group Newspapers LtdFather-of-three Mark blasted the developers for failing to make the area safe, saying: “It is a joke really.”
Speaking from the scene at Bluebell Wood, a Persimmon Homes development in Willenhall, near Coventry, West Midlands, a dismayed Mark said: “There is a potential accident waiting to open.
“The drainage pond is a death trap. Yes, it’s fenced off but it’s not adequate.
“It’s just post and rail and is too open. Any child could run through the gaps and fall into the water.”
Mark moved into the estate, which he claims is riddled with other defects, three years ago.
He claims he had “no choice” but to stop his girls, aged five and nine, and 12-year-old son, from playing in much of the park.
“They should be having fun outdoors with their pals. It’s unbelievable,” he added.
Mark pointed out that the area bordering Willow Way and the grassy patch opposite were also “full of rubble”.
He complained: “The play area is the biggest issue and you can’t let the kids come here accompanied or not because if you turn your back for a minute you could lose them.
“In the summer it becomes a big slush because the foundations are so poor.
“The developers need to get it sorted but they never do.”
Fellow resident Julie, 60, branded they way Persimmon has dealt with the estate’s many issues as “c**p”.
The legal secretary, who has two grown up children, said the bin in the park across from her home was “overflowing with dog poo bags” until a complaint was made on health grounds.
She added: “I sometimes see the youngsters playing out there and it’s so unsafe.
“There’s load of gaps in the fence and a child could run and flip through it and end up in the water.
“The whole area is like a bog.”
Julie said Bluebell Wood is “nothing” like she was promised from the plans – and her home isn’t even finished properly.
“We are so disappointed in the developer,” she said.
There’s load of gaps in the fence and a child could run and flip through it and end up in the water. The whole area is like a bog. JulieResident
Residents bagged their favourite properties on the development based on plans that showed a lush, tidy and secure green play area.
Julie, who lives in an attractive £280,000 four-bed town house, said: “We chose it because it was near the park and it was lovely seeing the children play but now they rarely do.
“There are only a few bits of equipment and not many kids come here because of the problems.”
Engineer Cristian Tataru, who also lives nearby, said there was almost nothing right about the neighbourhood.
But he had the biggest complaint about the clay ground the houses are built on which he says gets “too boggy”.
The 31-year-old, who has lived there for two-and-a-half years and whose mum Cristina often visits, said: “There’s not enough top soil and some of our gardens have turned into a pigsty.
“I’ve had to re-do my back garden three times because it’s sunk.
“I’ve taken out 10 tons of clay and added sand and ballast, and put down paving slabs as the grass kept sinking.”
But on top of this, the new dad, whose daughter just turned two months, blasted the “useless” park.
“The blue chipping underneath the play equipment isn’t draining properly and keeps flooding the grass,” he said.
“In heavy rain you can’t walk in the park.
“There’s also not enough street lights and the roads and pavements are filthy.”
‘WE ARE SO DISAPPOINTED’
His neighbour Nicola Fordham agreed the estate was a mess, but her main grievance was about the piles of rubbish and the pond.
The new mum, 39, a university learning designer with a six-week-old baby boy, said: “It’s everywhere. They are meant to clean and tidy the green spaces regularly but they do it once in a blue moon.
“If kids are playing in the park they have to be watched every second because they could easily climb through the fence and go down into the water.”
Mum-of-three Abi also said the park was “such a worry” and groaned about the overflowing bins.
“I’ve lived here for three years and when I walk my dog there I can’t use the bin and have to bring my bags home. It’s horrible,” she said.
“I feel sorry for the people living nearby with the smell and sight.”
Another mum, who did not want to give her name, said a fence should be put around the perimeter to avoid a disaster.
She said: “We live right next to it but I don’t let my kids, both under 10, play there.
“The ground’s too boggy and right now is full of mushrooms. It is disgusting.
“We have to leave the estate and visit another park.”
Nurse Neenu, 32, a mum-of-two, is also reluctant to let her five-year-old play football outside.
And a dad-of-two, who has just put his £280,000 home on the market for £325,000, said: “The location is good, right beside the park, but my main concern is the pond which is used as a drainage overflow.
“The fencing around it is inadequate and the ground is stony and bumpy.”
But one resident, Laura, who lives opposite the park, does not share her neighbours’ negative views.
The social worker said: “The estate feels very nice and if parents are worried about their children maybe they should watch them.”
Persimmon said it is in regularly contact with Coventry City Council about the overflowing bins.
A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes said: “Throughout the design, build and management stages of our Bluebell Wood development in Willenhall, we have worked to ensure the homes and surrounding areas are developed to the highest possible standards.
“As required by the planning permission, the development features a pond which helps to minimise surface water on site. This area is fenced off and designed to Environment Agency standards. The play equipment on the park has also been designed and installed in line with Local Authority requirements. Since installation and prior to the opening of the play area, the equipment has also been inspected and passed by an independent ROSPA inspector.
“The open space on the development is regularly inspected for rubbish, with bins being emptied on a daily basis by our site team. We are in regular, ongoing correspondence with Coventry City Council regarding the registration of the bins at Bluebell Wood.
“We are committed to providing an excellent standard of service to our customers. Our team will carry out an additional inspection on the development and remedy any current issues.”
7Locals say the ground is boggy, with one man describing his back garden as a ‘pigsty’Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd7Cristina Tatura’s son Cristian said there was almost nothing right about the neighbourhoodCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd7The Bluebell Wood estate is a Persimmons development in Willenhall, near Coventry, West MidlandsCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd7One local described the pond as a ‘death trap’Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd7One local, Julie, said: ‘We are so disappointed in the developer’Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk