Council to carry out 'urgent' repairs at Sunnylands play park

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is to carry out ‘urgent’ repairs following reports of damage at Sunnylands play park.

It comes after concerns were raised that the condition of some of the equipment, such as climbing apparatus and football nets, posed a potential safety hazard.

A loose chain on a climbing ramp and (right) damaged football nets.  INCT 49-755-CON

A loose chain on a climbing ramp and (right) damaged football nets. INCT 49-755-CON

One frequent visitor to the park is Laura Stewart, a local mum and child-minder.

“I used to live in the area and my kids played in the park from when they were tiny; I also pick up from Sunnylands Primary School a couple of days a week,” she said.

“In the play park there’s a fireman’s pole which is only secured at the bottom so it’s not at all stable; there’s also a ramp which the kids can climb but the chain they would hold on to has become detached at the bottom.

“At the pitch, the football nets are reinforced with metal wire and on one of them the net has come loose at the sides, so there are wires poking out at eye level.

“It’s not all vandalism, some of it’s just wear and tear.

“[The park] is in a sorry state and needs immediate attention.

“If there’s any damage at the bigger parks like Marine Gardens, it gets fixed quickly but the play areas in the estates are overlooked, and it’s those children who are in most need.”

Responding, a spokesman for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: “We share the disappointment and frustration of residents when damage is deliberately caused to facilities used by local communities. Such vandalism results in inconvenience to the public and extra expense to ratepayers.

"The health and safety of all our citizens is paramount to council and such actions can create unacceptable hazards, hence our officers have acted with urgency to address this matter.

"Replacement items have been ordered and will be installed in the park soon. Likewise, netting at the MUGA pitch is being removed and will be replaced as soon as possible.

“MEA Council is committed to protecting, enhancing and promoting our parks and green spaces as superb places to visit, exercise and enjoy events. We encourage anybody with information regarding criminal damage at facilities across the borough to contact the PSNI.”