A COUNTY councillor has defended a village’s new play park after disgruntled residents criticised its appearance and lack of facilities for children of all ages.

The Allenfields Play Area, in Allendale, was commissioned by social housing provider Karbon Homes and local county councillor Colin Horncastle as a replacement for the previous park that was removed after failing safety standards in 2018.

A petition set up by the Allen Valleys Labour Supporters Group in 2018 which demanded for the reinstatement of play facilities received more than 150 signatures and was sent to Karbon Homes.

The housing provider was under no obligation to reinstate the facilities, Coun. Horncastle said, but they both agreed to build a new park.

A statement from Karbon Homes said: “Given strength of feeling expressed locally, we have decided that we will explore with stakeholders the options for new equipment on the Allenfields site.”

The new facility was completed earlier this month, but residents took to social media to criticise the park’s facilities compared to initial planning designs and the lack of opportunities for children over the age of three.

However, statement from Allendale Parish Council said the plans had outlined a pre-school and toddlers' play area

A public consultation in August 2019, where residents could view the plans was attended by representatives from Karbon Homes.

“It was felt that a small, enclosed play area for toddlers would be a useful addition to the community,” a statement from Allendale Parish Council said.

Coun. Horncastle said: “Nobody to my knowledge had any doubts about it, but then they started building it and all hell broke loose.

“Allendale has a massive range of facilities for children. Yes we would have all loved it to be bigger but money doesn’t grow on trees.”