10 YEARS LATE: New parks to be built in Bridgend
Workers have started building new play parks at a housing estate in Bridgend, nearly a decade after they were promised to residents.
Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) said builders have begun work on three play parks at Parc Derwen, a major housing development comprising 1,500 homes in Coity, Bridgend.
For years, residents have been battling with developer Persimmon Homes to build more play areas as there is only one on the estate.
Amanda Williams, independent councillor for BCBC representing Coity, said the parks have been long-awaited by residents living at Parc Derwen.
“Some of those houses are eight years old and those residents were promised these play parks when they bought the houses.
“Their children are now grown up and don’t need them.”
The designs for the new play parks include slides, swings and a zip wire.
In August 2019, BCBC gave Persimmon planning permission to build an additional 102 homes at Parc Derwen but some councillors said they were concerned the company would fail to deliver the additional parks.
Both Persimmon and the council said plans for more parks to be built were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cllr Williams said: “We’ve been promised this for years and years and it’s just not fair. They’ve simply waited till the last minute to save money.
“What they’ve got planned for the parks looks fantastic, however, we’ll believe it when we see it because they’ve missed so many deadlines.”
According to Cllr Williams, she met with Persimmon in January 2018 to discuss their plans to provide more parks on the estate. Three years later, construction has now begun.”
Dean Barrington, who has lived at Parc Derwen for the last five years, said while there is one park currently available for use on the site, it’s “not the best”.
He said he prefers to take his two-year-old daughter to another local park outside of the estate as it has better facilities.
According to Mr Barrington, BCBC and Persimmon Homes have “been talking about these parks for a while” and “dates have constantly been put back”.
“It’s a massive estate now it’s huge. You can’t just have one park serving the whole estate.
“There seems to be so much to-ing and fro-ing from Bridgend Council and Persimmon which has made these delays happen so often.
“One of them needs to take responsibility and get things done. Hopefully this time it’ll happen.”
Mr Barrington said he believes the parks took so long to build because Persimmon Homes is more concerned with profit than the welfare of residents.
“They’re not interested in building facilities, they just want to build houses and get them up as quickly as they can and make their money.”
Cllr Williams said she is “disappointed” with the time it has taken for Persimmon to build the extra parks.
“They’re only putting them in because they’re coming to the end of the build. It is a requirement for that estate to have these parks.
“But they’ve put it off for so long they don’t have to bear the cost of insuring the parks which is really disappointing.”
A spokesman for Persimmon Homes West Wales said: “We have been liaising with the council over designs for the parks for some time and, after some alterations, we are now delighted to be starting work.
“These three new parks will provide excellent facilities for children in the area and I’m sure they will be welcomed by everyone living at Parc Derwen.
“There were some delays while we awaited feedback from the council and also due to the Covid-19 pandemic, for which we apologise.
“Parc Derwen benefits greatly from a large number of areas of open space, including informal areas, equipped areas and the central playing fields.”
A BCBC spokesman said: “The original planning application for the development was submitted over 20 years ago and was approved subject to the policies and regulations in place at that time.
“It was always intended that Parc Derwen would be a long-term scheme featuring all of the open spaces and play areas included on the overall masterplan, and although parts of the development were occupied prior to some of the play areas being built, this can often be the case with large-scale developments.
“We’re pleased that work at Parc Derwen has reached a point where the developer is providing the three play areas which were a specific condition of the planning consent, and that generations of local children will be able to benefit and enjoy these new facilities.”
Words: Hannah Neary, Local Democracy Reporter
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