A Wiltshire play park has been plagued by “vandals” while a hotly contested debate about its future continues.

Box Parish Council has called for suspected vandals to stop targeting the Rudloe play area, by the community centre just off Westwood Road.

Councillors claim youths have repeatedly smashed and dug up rubble where a bridge feature was removed.

This has led to criticism of the state of the play park with some residents angry about the mess left behind.

Parish council chair Cllr Tim Walton said: “It would be nice if people didn’t smash up the rubble, it’s frustrating because it’s every week and it isn’t necessary.

“The bridge that was there before didn’t fall apart by itself, it was vandalised and broken up with significant force.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The damage at the Rudloe play areaThe damage at the Rudloe play area (Image: Phillip Rice)The parish council continue to clean rubble away from the site once a week, but the future of the playground remains hotly contested.

Rudloe Community Group lead Phillip Rice has called for a completely new site to be constructed and believes the current play area is “not fit for purpose".

He said: “It has deteriorated since the bridge was removed six to eight months ago, I went to the park with my daughter and there was rubble everywhere.

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“It was horrendous, unfortunately our children are having to play in this disgusting state.

“It’s a quiet village and nobody seems willing to put the work in to fix it, the community has been pushing for it to be redeveloped.”

Cllr Walton insisted that the parish council is currently exploring plans to redevelop the site.

These plans have been progressing since June when the proposed redevelopment of the Rudloe Community Centre, which would have included the play park, was scrapped.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The Rudloe play areaThe Rudloe play area (Image: Newsquest)Problems have arisen after multiple contractors turned down the project, and the parish council are now seeking other options through Wiltshire Council.

Cllr Walton said: “It is our full and sincere intention to do something with the play park as soon as possible, but we have limited resources and the costs would be very high.

“We want to engage with the community and form an evidence-based proposal for what to do next.

“I appreciate the frustration of the community, but we have been saving up funds and are very keen to take this forward.”

In the meantime, he believes the play area is safe and added that is inspected annually.

“It is not considered dangerous and it hasn’t been allowed to fall into disrepair, we continue to spend money on maintenance," he said.