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Park with 30ft-deep hole could stay closed for months

PUBLISHED: 10:34 07 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:15 07 November 2018

Mountfield Park in Hellesdon, which is currently closed. Picture: David Hannant

Mountfield Park in Hellesdon, which is currently closed. Picture: David Hannant

Archant

A Hellesdon park closed following the discovery of a 30ft deep hole could remain shut for months, it has been revealed.

Mountfield Park in Hellesdon, which is currently closed. Picture: David HannantMountfield Park in Hellesdon, which is currently closed. Picture: David Hannant

Mountfield Park was closed to the public after a groundskeeper discovered a small, but deep hole in the ground, now confirmed to be a former soak away.

Hellesdon Parish Council initially kept the park open and cordoned off the hazard, however, after these cordons were stolen the decision was made to close it.

At the parish council’s monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, it was revealed it could be months before the park can be re-opened, due to the need to ascertain whether other holes could lie beneath its surface.

Sue Prutton, chairman of the council, said: “We have had preliminary reports conducted which indicated there had been subsidence on Mountfield park. Full reports have since confirmed this.

Shelagh Gurney, county and district councillor for Hellesdon. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.Shelagh Gurney, county and district councillor for Hellesdon. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

“Our next step is to form a working group to find a solution as it is safe to say that nobody on the council has the substantial knowledge that is required to deal with such a complex task.”

Mrs Prutton said the hole itself was just part of the problem and that the parish council, which only took on the park around a year ago, must put health and safety first,

Louise Reeves, the parish council’s projects officer, said: “While it is a small hole, what is underneath the park is far more important.

“The soak away is just part of the issue, so we have to make sure the rest of the park is not in danger.”

Mrs Prutton said the parish council had tried to keep the park open, but its hand was forced when the cordons were removed.

Shelagh Gurney, a district and county councillor for Hellesdon, added: “Our greatest concern is health and safety. It is imperative some sort of site survey is done to establish what work is needed to be done.

“The safety of our residents is our utmost priority and if it takes months until we can re-open the park then so be it.

“I would not agree with re-opening the park until the whole thing is done properly.”

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