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Residents of Alexandra Meadows estate in Lymington, built by Pennyfarthing Homes, say amenity space is a danger to children

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ANGRY families have accused a developer of “false promises” after buying homes on a new housing estate in Lymington, parts of which they now describe as “derelict and dangerous”.

The 87-home Alexandra Meadows development was constructed by New Milton-based Pennyfarthing Homes in 2019, with the first residents buying off-plan and paying between £400,000 and £700,000 for their properties.

Four play parks completed two years ago have remained shut, with one located right next to a drainage pond which regularly fills with four feet of water.

Pennyfarthing Alexandra Meadows residents 3 (48737773)
Pennyfarthing Alexandra Meadows residents 3 (48737773)

Residents said they were promised “idyllic” surroundings and recreation space for children. But for some, more than two years after moving in, the view from their windows is of a metal gate surrounding a weed-ridden soakaway which does not drain.

Pennyfarthing said it has been working with New Forest District Council on the issue and work on a solution would start soon.

As part of the planning agreement between the developer and NFDC, Pennyfarthing was required to hand back control of the public land when the site was complete – but the council is now refusing to adopt it because it “does not meet the standards”.

Resident Andrew Frost told the A&T: “For that reason, Pennyfarthing will not open up the play areas or take the metal fence down around the soakaway, because they do not want to be liable.

“So now there is a stand-off between the two organisations with neither taking responsibility – this is a farce.

Four play parks have been shut since they were finished four years ago
Four play parks have been shut since they were finished four years ago

“We just want to see the area made safe with proper landscaping and perhaps a wooden fence so it looks more attractive.”

Another resident, who did not want to be named, described the area as “derelict and dangerous” and accused the developer of making “false promises”.

“There are clear safety issues with the soakaway because to the side of it is a slope with wooden play equipment,” she said. “Children, or adults even, could easily fall down into the trench, and I believe it was fenced off very quickly because a child was seen rolling down the slope. This was just bad planning.

“We thought the metal fencing would just be temporary, but two years on it is still there.

“This was not what we were promised in the brochure before we bought our home – we were told this was an idyllic location and we paid a lot for our homes on this premise.”

Resident Kirstie Dobson said her 14-month-old daughter is desperate to use the large playground in the centre of the estate, which she said was one of the main selling points.

“We were drawn to the site as it appeared so family friendly and had a little communal park,” she said.

The soakaway
The soakaway

“My little girl often toddles over there – it is really disappointing it’s still not open because she would love to be able to play and socialise with other children.

“There seem to have been disagreements between the council and Pennyfarthing but now they just need to let our children play!”

Resident Ray Whitehouse said that the road in his cul-de-sac was “an absolute mess” following attempts by Pennyfarthing to solve drainage problems.

A spokesperson for Pennyfarthing said the developer had been working with NFDC to investigate and resolve the issues around the soakaway, and promised that remedial works would begin shortly.

“Following extensive design checks, on-site testing and monitoring, a resolution has been identified with works to begin shortly,” they said.

“Residents will receive a joint letter from Pennyfarthing Homes and NFDC communicating the works that will be carried out and the anticipated timeframes for completion.

“We have also been liaising with NFDC to agree necessary additional protection measures to enable the play park to open, and with the measures recently finalised the works will be completed in the coming weeks.”

A spokesperson for NFDC said the authority was “unable to conclude that the development meets the standards set out in the original planning permission”, adding there were a number of issues to be addressed.

“It has been communicated to Pennyfarthing what needs to be done, which includes fencing and landscaping around the soakaway and relocating some of the play equipment together with some other minor works,” they said.

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