Oban playpark pirate ship runs aground in a swamp

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The ‘fantastic’ pirate ship playpark at Atlantis Leisure is in danger of ‘sinking into a swamp’, according to a mum whose children play there every day.

The £180k park’s surface is already cracking and bubbling two years a fter it was laid and users are impatient to see it fixed before children or grandparents trip and hurt themselves.

The Friends of Oban Community Playpark group raised £334,000 to replace the old playpark beside Atlantis Leisure, which closed for safety reasons in 2014, with two new ones – one for ages five to 15 and the other for under fives, plus a millennium garden.

The group raised £180,000 to fund for Oban Community Playpark’s first phase, designed for five to 15 years, which opened in November 2015.

Mum of four Emma D’Arcy, whose children use the play park every day, said ‘massive patches’ of the new park’s surface were turning into a not-so-fun ‘trampoline’ or ‘waterbed’.

‘It started as a bubble and it has turned into a swamp,’ she explained. ‘Mud and water is seeping up. The floor is sinking.

‘It is an accident waiting to happen. You have elderly grandparents there walking with sticks. It is only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.’
Oban Community Playpark is maintained by Argyll and Bute Council.

A council spokesperson told The Oban Times: ‘The park is open and safe to use. We are investigating concerns raised with us regarding an issue with the surface.

‘As soon as any fault and cause is identified, the appropriate steps will be taken to remedy it.’

Ms D’Arcy said the new park was ‘fantastic’, but added: ‘I do not think the drainage was sorted properly. I believe the ground was one of the most expensive parts because it was meant to last a long time.

‘It is a new park and this should not be happening. I believe the playpark committee have been trying to get it fixed. It is a shame this has not been addressed.

‘The community have put in so much work and raised so much money.’
Friends of Oban Community Playpark chairperson Lyndsay Elliott told The Oban Times: ‘It is being dealt with. The conversations are being had, but it is taking longer than we would hope.’

The group have also raised their target of almost £100,000 to complete the final stage of the under-fives play park, a pirate ship.

Workmen are currently waiting for a break in the weather to finish this off. A party to officially open the new park is set for September 30.

In the meantime, the new ship needs a name and children aged up to 15 were asked to send The Oban Times their suggestions of a name for the boat.

Voting is now taking place to find out the public’s favourite suggestion from five short-listed. The winner will receive an iPad mini courtesy of Scottish Sea Farms.

To vote for one of the five suggested names, visit https://goo.gl/M4QyWw