Residents of a new suburb in Chisholm say a newly-built playground is too little too late, with some complaining the park is "cheap", an "extremely poor effort" and smelly.
Avid Residential Estates, the developer of Harvest, has completed what is currently the only playground in the estate. Harvest contains almost 300 residential blocks, of which 90 per cent are occupied. The developer expects the estate will house over 1000 residents by the end of the year.
Laura Lilley, one of the first people to buy a block of land in the area, said her family had waited four years for the new playground.
"My husband and I had already been married five years before we bought in 2015. We had waited to save and buy in an area that had parks and bike trails, so when we did have children we could do all the family things in the estate we lived on. We've waited and waited, now the park has come it's not what we expected at all."
Ms Lilley's complaints included that the playground was on the main road into the estate and had no fencing, had no shade and was next to sewage infrastructure.
She said only one of the three items of play equipment was age-appropriate for her two-year-old son.
"I assumed the playground would be bigger for starters. I've got a runner, so I need a fence," she said. "In the summer we won't be able to go there simply for the smell."
Linda Hammill, who is building her future home in Harvest while living in the neighbouring Waterford estate, described the park as a "dismal effort". She said the facilities do not compare to the two playgrounds in Waterford, or play facilities in other new suburbs nearby.
"I think it's broken promises that have upset a lot of people," she said. "Heritage Parc and Wirraway have amazing parks and the developers didn't wait for the houses to be built. Whereas Avid have dragged the chain.
"I feel sorry for the families in Harvest because most of their kids have grown up before getting to use the playground. The estate is basically all sold so they're not going to worry about making people happy."
The playground is part of Avid's development contribution to Maitland City Council. Council's Thornton North Section 94 Contributions Plan identified the general location of the playground at least as early as 2015 and assigned the facility with a capital cost of $294,195. Council will own the park once it is released by the developer.
A spokesperson for Avid said the company was tendering for a second park to be built in Harvest in 2020. Some of the "proposed elements" of the future park were a picnic shelter, seating and playground facilities, she said. Avid bought Waterford in 2017, and said an additional five parks were also planned for that estate.
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