CHILDREN and parents are facing a ‘frustrating’ wait to enjoy a new playground installed months ago.

A fence has surrounded play equipment at Wootton Community Park since November with a sign from the parish council, which owns the land, warning: "Please keep out. The park is awaiting a safety inspection before it can be used. Thank you for your patience."

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But residents in the village, which is near Abingdon, are becoming increasingly annoyed that three months on and there is still no sign of the notice coming down.

One woman, who did not want to be named, said: “It is frustrating as it has looked ready for a long time but we have not have any updates about when it will actually open." She said the playground would be ‘very convenient’ when her grandchildren visit but that at the moment they had to drive to Abingdon.

A campaign for a playground on the site was started in 2013 by a group of residents who, working with the parish council, fundraised and applied for grants to fund the project, which they estimated would cost around £80,000. Called the Patch Project, they announced via their Facebook page in September 2017 that work was set to begin on the new playground, which includes a slide, swings and zip wire.

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Wootton Parish Council chairman Andrew Ludlow said: “Unfortunately it took longer than anticipated to arrange the final inspection. Once completed, it became apparent that some additional work is required. It has taken a while to agree costs for this work, and we are now waiting for our contractor to fit it into his schedule.”

He added: “Wootton Parish Council regret the considerable delay in opening the Community Park, but are confident that it will be worth the wait and will be enjoyed by many in years to come.”

Minutes from the November 6 meeting of Wootton Parish Council said the Wootton Community Park was ‘close to being complete’ and was waiting on parts for a zip wire.

It added a RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) safety check was to be arranged by company Redlynch, who were installing the equipment.

Minutes from the previous month’s meeting suggested a ‘soft opening’ would be held as soon as the equipment was ready, with an official opening in the spring.

Work was delayed when Playground Services, the company originally tasked with building the new playground, went into liquidation in August.

A notice in the Wootton and Dry Sandford Newsletter for Dec/Jan 2019 from the parish council stated: “After many challenges and set backs, we are getting close to the park being ready. Just waiting for some missing parts and RoSPA sign off.”