RESIDENTS living near Newington Park in Annan are growing increasingly frustrated after the area appears to have been left abandoned following the completion of flood works by Scottish Water.
It has been almost a year since a £5 million project to combat sewer flooding, by building a storm water tank and upgrading the network, was finished.
And in that time, the grass has been left to overgrow, large ruts have left the ground uneven, rocks, stones and pebbles of various sizes lie all over the place, newly planted trees have wilted after not being watered and there is no sign of a new play park being constructed.
The site was due to be handed back over to Dumfries and Galloway Council. However, stones mean they could risk damaging their equipment if they went to cut the grass, so they are unwilling to retake ownership until the area is properly cleared.
Jim Woodhouse has lived in Newington Avenue for 11 years and he branded the park, in its current state, a disgrace.
He said: “I have sent emails every week. There’s big stones. There’s a big block, a base for the fencing, lying up at the top end. It’s an absolute disgrace.
“I said to them – can they not get round the table and speak to each other?
“I would have thought it should be ploughed and harrowed with farm equipment.
“Now you can’t see the stones (because it’s overgrown) and I can understand the council saying they’re not cutting it.
“That park was always full of kids. They can’t even play football up the top now, it’s too long.
“It really is terrible and everybody round about says the same.
“A big part of the job is tidying up behind yourself, but they don’t seem to care.
“Something needs to happen.”
Scottish Water say they are ‘committed to completing’ the clean up work after leaving the site to grow out of control.
A spokesperson said: “Scottish Water are committed to completing the reinstatement work in Newington Park.
“We recently received feedback from the local authority that further work to remove stones needs to take place before they take on the maintenance of the area. This will be done as soon as possible and we will cut the grass in the meantime.
“Unfortunately, due to the extended period of warm, dry weather, some of the planting may not have survived. We plan to visit site to remove any planting which has died.
“We will return later this year in the planting season, to replant anything which has been lost over the summer.”
No timescale has been given on the new children’s park either, but it is believed work will start in the next few months. Scottish Water are set to pay for the project.
Above: Jim Woodhouse