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Popular Canvey playing field finally risen from the deep
4:10pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
ACTION has finally been taken to raise a popular playing field from the deep after it was left submerged under water for months.
Dog walkers and youngsters have been unable to use Smallgains Recreational Ground, in Smallgains Avenue, Canvey for months after it was transformed into a lake following heavy rainfall.
The water was left so long it started to stagnate, causing foul smells to emanate from the park.
The long-running saga has been going on for the past four years as poor drainage means the park floods every winter leaving it completely unusable for the local community.
Now residents are celebrating after Castle Point Council and the Environment Agency finally teamed up to resolve the matter.
John Pharro, 69, of Orrmo Road, Canvey said: “It was like pulling the plug on a bathtub. You would not believe the difference it has made.
“Obviously it will take a while for the land to dry, but it is so much better. You can actually get to the benches now without wading in high water.
“It is just a shame that everyone automatically assumed nothing could be done. Hopefully regular maintenance will prevent excessive flooding in the future.”
The Environment Agency originally told the Echo it was the responsibility of the council to deal with the flooded field.
The council said it was “natural effect” because the area is a reclaimed creek bed.
However, life-long islanders claim the land was dammed following the 1953 flood to enable it to be used as a park and that the problem was down to drains being blocked.
Brenda Easton, 71, of Whernside Avenue, Canvey, said: “I was absolutely disgusted that they were doing nothing to sort this. I’ve been coming here since I was a baby and I remember when they dammed it all. But for the past four years it’s kept flooding, which is just not good enough.
“I’m really thrilled they have finally drained the park. There are so many people that bring their dogs over here and so many children who have been unable to play here, so I’m sure they will all be delighted.”
A spokeswoman from Castle Point Council said: "We are pleased that residents are happy that work has been carried out by the Environment Agency to drain the flood from part of Smallgains recreation ground.
"Castle Point Council worked with the Environment Agency to help the agency in identifying the location and route of the drains so that work could be carried out to drain the ground."