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Outrage at New Forest District Council's use of contaminated soil at Paddock Gardens in Lymington

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FURIOUS residents have slammed New Forest District Council for dumping contaminated soil on their green containing bottles, screwdrivers and even a condom.

Wooden posts which were positioned around the boundary of the public space at Paddock Gardens have been replaced by NFDC with piles of soil which householders say is not only contaminated but already thick with weeds.

One resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said neither she nor her neighbours were given any prior warning of the work, carried out to stop vehicles parking on the area.

The contaminated soil is already thick with weeds
The contaminated soil is already thick with weeds

“Since I moved here 21 years ago the green has always been well maintained by the council and well used,” she said.

“Residents can often be seen walking their dogs there, and it is a safe place for children to play.

“It now looks a mess – we have a field that is covered in rubbish and virulent weeds that no one wants to use, and the council has stopped mowing it because they need special equipment to get over the mounds.”

Having received reports the soil was contaminated, the council sifted it in an effort to remove any waste, but residents claimed this has not been done properly and rubbish still remains.

“I don’t know where the council got that soil but if a member of the public had dumped it they would have been fined,” said the resident.

“We’ve reported the weeds and they have said they will come back and spray weed killer, so environmentally the green will be worse than it was.”

Another resident, who also did not want to be named, said she was “ashamed” of the area.

How the green looked before the work
How the green looked before the work

“We used to have a green we could be proud of, but now when I have visitors the first thing they say to me is, ‘What on Earth has happened to your field?’, she said.

“I know often people don’t like change but to see it transformed from a lovely space to what it is now is really sad.”

A third resident said the green has gone from being a “practical open space” enjoyed by many to being an “unusable eyesore”.

“We all take pride in our homes and gardens, so to see the green looking as horrendous as it does is really disappointing,” they said.

“And it was a huge shock because we were never informed any of it was happening.

“We should have been given the opportunity to have some input – now it’s been done we’re going to have a war on our hands to get it back to the way it was.”

They added: “Considering how tight the council’s budget is I’m amazed by how much money has been wasted making our field look worse than it did before.”

A spokesperson for NFDC said: “We will continue to work with the residents to bring the standards up to the quality we expect in our open spaces.”

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