A park in Eltham has been left waterlogged with a flooded paddling pool after Greenwich Council “improvement” works to turn it into a wildlife pond.
Queenscroft Park, on the Middle Park Estate, has been left like “a paddy field” according to one resident who contacted this website about the issue.
The work was carried out last year as part of a £1m one-off package which aimed to renovate facilities in 11 of the borough’s parks, many of which have been neglected for years.
In Queenscroft Park, this included work to create a wildlife pond out of a old paddling pool and boating lake, as well as creating a meadow, planting trees and refurbishing toilets.
The pool and boating lake were created when the park was formed out of old farmland in the 1950s, but had fallen into disuse and had been drained.
Locals say that contractors did not break up the concrete base of the old pool when creating the wildlife pond, meaning that water is not draining away. However, the council insists that the base was broken up.
They also say that underground streams in the area have not been taken into account, although council officers are believed to have ruled this out.
One told 853: “The work was so poorly done that the area is now waterlogged and unusable.
“It looks like a waste of public money to pay a contractor to landscape the site without removing the base and not without consulting residents about the works.”
Grassland around the old pool is sodden, while anyone wanting to sit by the lake will have to wade through water to get there.
The park user told 853 that contractors had told them they were following the council’s specifications when carrying out the work.
Greenwich Council did not say whether or not this was true when contacted by 853, and it did not give details of the cost of the works when asked.
A spokesperson said: “We’re currently improving the land drainage from both the old boating lake and paddling pool, which involves clearing manholes and drains and improving the flow of water. We’re doing this over two phases as the area is currently so waterlogged that we need to clear up before a contractor is able to complete the repairs.”
They added: “The concrete base was left in and was broken up to aid drainage. The new drainage to both areas includes land drainage pipes connected to the existing below ground drainage system. The drainage is flowing fine, but the volume of water is now too much so additional pipes and connections are being installed.
“Once complete this will be a fantastic natural habitat for wildlife and a new picnic area, all part of our ongoing investments in parks and open spaces.”
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