Norwich play area left as a hole full of mud

Matthew SparkesA new childrens' playground destined for a city park was left 'a gaping hole full of mud' after planned work was delayed by bad weather.Matthew Sparkes

A new childrens' playground destined for a city park was left 'a gaping hole full of mud' after planned work was delayed by bad weather.

A �300,000 improvement plan for the Jenny Lind Park on Vauxhall Street was created last year after consultation with young people in the area.

They asked Norwich City Council to include a games area, basketball hoops and steps where they could 'hang out'.

But, although much of the work is complete, the old play area which was popular with local children has been removed and left an empty patch of mud.

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Kathleen Mundy, 72, who lives in a flat overlooking the park, received a letter last year saying the work would be finished by the end of March.

CityCare was carrying out the improvements, but recently lost its key contract with the council and pulled its workers from the site.

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'They lost the contract and we're left with a disgusting sight,' said Mrs Mundy.

'It was a lovely park and there was nothing wrong with it at all. In the summer that playground was absolutely full of children and their mothers. It's disgusting what they left. Nobody seems to know what's going to happen.'

'The kids' holidays are coming up and there's absolutely nothing. We've got loads of children in this block.'

Mrs Mundy said City Care workmen yesterday removed their hut which was the last piece of equipment on the site and said that they would not be returning to carry out any more work.

A Norwich City Council spokesman said: 'The Jenny Lind Park refurbishment is a very exciting project, shaped by extensive consultation with local people, and will be a real asset to the neighbourhood.

'The first phases, which include a new multi-use games area and landscaping, have been completed and these are excellent facilities.'

The council claimed 'exceptionally bad weather' had delayed work and taken the schedule up to the end of its contract with CityCare.

Work is expected to begin after the Easter break.

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