Field subsidence may cost £100,000 to fix

Reporter:

Lois Hough and Matt Jones

A POPULAR playground blighted with subsidence could cost £100,000 to bring up to scratch.

Subsidence on Willow playing field in Hope has led to a section of the field being cordoned off over safety concerns, but with a huge bill and little funding available, fears have been raised the problem could get worse.

Cllr Lynn Davies, chairman of Hope Community Council, said it could take up to two years to secure funding for the playing field, which was built on a former council tip.

She said: “The children found a dip in the playing field and it has got worse. Flintshire Council was informed and they are in the process of investigating.

“There is probably stuff rotting underneath and that’s caused the subsidence.

“We have heard it is going to take a while. They have got a section cordoned off.”

Cllr Davies said with uncertainty surrounding the future of the sports centre at Castell Alun, more importance was being placed on the playing field.

Flintshire Council is looking to enter into an arrangement with the school to keep the centre open to the public out of school hours but so far agreements have not been finalised.

Cllr Davies said: “Playing fields are so important. We need some money to get it all done at once rather than in stages.

“Play equipment is so expensive. We have got three pieces of equipment to go on there and that cost £12,000.

“It could cost £100,000 and at the moment nobody has any money for funding.”

Community leaders are appealing for a community-spirited resident who has the time and experience to try to apply for National Lottery and other grant funding.

Hope county councillor Tim Newhouse said responsibility for any maintenance work on the field, which is popular with children and walkers, would rest with Flintshire Council.

He said: “I have been trying to get the area ploughed and resurfaced since June 2008, and I continue to push.

“I have been lobbying at the relevant council offices.

“My hope is that it is going to be done at some stage.”

A spokesman for Flintshire Council said: “We are aware of subsidence on part of the site. Council officers have erected a safety fence around the area affected – while investigations continue to establish the cause of the subsidence.”

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