ALMOST £100,000 is set to be invested in a “boggy” Wickford park because it has become so badly maintained, it cannot be used for most of the year.

Councillors are set to debate whether to invest the huge sum of money in Cranfield Park, Wickford.

The plan would see the park transformed while its ponds and pathways will have a complete makeover after the council admitted its not up to scratch and large parts are out of use.

The authority stated it is “currently a bog in large parts for much of the year”.

The park has suffered from persistent issues with standing water and waterlogged soils which particularly affect the northern part of the park.

Basildon Council has been working with Essex County Council to explore ways to tackle the “bogginess” through a series of ponds and ditches.

It is hoped the improvements would also enhance the biodiversity in the park and, together with a network of raised paths, make it more accessible and more enjoyable for visitors.

The neighbourhood and public spaces committee will vote on the plan which it is hoped will “radically improve drainage, boost wildlife and create a better environment for walkers, runners and cyclists”.

The proposed scheme is budgeted to cost £98,250 and funding has been secured for the project from contributions from the Radwinter Avenue housing development - meaning none of the work will be funded by the taxpayer.

David Harrison, chairman of the neighbourhood and public spaces committee, said: “These proposals offer real hope for those who currently use and would like to use Cranfield Park.

“They are well-thought out and sensitive to the needs of a variety of park users and to local flora and fauna.

“Plus they will not cost the taxpayer a penny.”

The council will be asked to choose between three options for the park, to keep the park as is and not tackle its “inaccessible nature throughout the year” or to improve and enhance the path networks by raising them in isolation of the proposed improvements - therefore not tackling the root causes.

Or the third option, which the councillors have been recommended to approve, is “to fully carry out the proposed scheme to improve pathways and enhance the biodiversity of the park”.

The council committee will meet on Wednesday at 7pm.