A NEW splash pad, a replacement for the old paddling pool, has now been opened to the public for the first time.
The new water park, consisting of 11 features, has been built on the area where the pool used to be, on Thornbury’s Mundy Playing Fields, following a public vote on whether to renovate the existing pool or build a new water park on Mundy Playing Fields in February this year.
However, many residents are annoyed by how long the project took to complete and there are also concerns that the new splash pad is not what was shown at the consultation.
The splash pad which was built for just under £120,000 and was funded through a grant of £77,000 from South Gloucestershire Council’s New Homes Bonus, with the rest being paid by Thornbury Town Council.
The new water park was installed as a replacement for the paddling pool that was on the fields, which had to be updated, but there are claims that the installation is nothing like the original proposals suggested.
Marcia Commons, 26, a full-time mother-of-five, who lives in Bath Road said: “Everyone is completely shocked, it is so disappointing. The splash pad looks nothing like the drawings we were shown at the consultation.
“I feel like we’ve been robbed. The money could’ve been spent on something far better; this is not what we expected at all.
"What's the point in having something that's used mainly by the kids open right at the end of the school holidays?
Siobhan Wright wrote that the splash pad was a waste of money and that "for that price they could have done more than putting up a glorified shower."
Independent Cllr Graham Lanfear said that they had initially hoped to have the splash pad up and running for the start of the school holidays:
“The paddling pool that was there before was coming to the end of its useful life and several people suggested the splash pad based on similar things they’d seen around the country.
“The contractors had a problem with the coating whilst putting down the concrete which meant that they had to re-do it and unfortunately that led to the splash pad taking longer than hoped".
A spokesman for Thornbury Town Council said that the weather had contributed to delays:
"We did the right thing, we could've very easily just bulldozed the paddling pool and left it like that but we consulted residents in the town and they voted in favour of building the splash pad instead of renovating the paddling pool.
"At the consultation in St Mary Centre we showed a drawing and an artists impression from the two contractors who we had contacted but at no point did anyone say that this is what would've been built.
"We had hoped to have it built by the end of July but the weather meant that that wasn't possible and in the end we put up the contractors in site so that they didn't have to travel from Wales to speed things up."
The official opening of the splash pad will take place at the site on Tuesday, September 9 at 11am.