Despite fervent promises, the Pocket Park on the Silwood estate failed to open as the summer deadline came and went, remaining unused and inaccessible to children on the estate. This was particularly pertinent as many residents living in Phase 3A had their gardens dug up as a result of soil contamination. At the Residents’ Meeting on 5th May, the issue was discussed and locals were informed that the park was closed due to health and safety concerns, but were assured the problems were being addressed and that the park would be open in time for the summer.
However, at the last quarterly Residents’ Meeting on 4th August, with the Pocket Park still closed, the question of what the health and safety problems were arose. Residents were told that minor repairs still had to be undertaken, in the form of loose screws and so on. When asked by Silwood Video Group if, given the length of the delay in opening the Pocket Park, London & Quadrant were able to put some pressure on the company responsible for maintaining the park, the L & Q representative at the meeting, Melanie Banton, replied that they were unable to get the job done any faster as the company, SafePlay, had a huge backlog of play-site across Lewisham borough.
Residents on the Silwood have long been concerned about the slow erosion of leisure amenities in their community, and it may be the case that they are losing another.