A popular play park that had been closed for more than 18 months has finally reopened.

The Sandy Lane play area, in Dereham, was first padlocked shut in June 2021 after Breckland Council deemed it unsafe.

Dereham Times: A padlock on the gate of the Sandy Lane play area in DerehamA padlock on the gate of the Sandy Lane play area in Dereham (Image: Newsquest)

The long wait for a replacement led to widespread frustration among families, who questioned why the process had taken so long. 

However, in September, the local authority revealed details of a £40,000 refurbishment.

And now, the park has reopened with new equipment including climbing frames, swings, rocking play equipment and puzzle educational boards, all surrounded by safety fencing, benches and eco-mulch. 

Dereham Times: The reopened play area in Sandy Lane, DerehamThe reopened play area in Sandy Lane, Dereham (Image: Breckland Council)

Town and district councillor Harry Clarke, who has long campaigned for the play area to be improved, said he was "delighted" to see it open again for the benefit of local families. 

Breckland Council said previously it had taken advice from "playground experts" prior to deciding what type of play equipment would be most suitable for the Sandy Lane site.