Haddington Helicopter Play Park – Impact of continued vandalism

Over the past 12 months, the Helicopter Play Park between Haddington Road and the Princess Mary Gate Estate, Wendover, has been vandalised numerous times at a cost of approximately £8k to the MOD.

The play park underwent a full refurbishment in 2015, along with other play areas in the local community, at a cost of £450k but in recent months has been the target of repeated vandalism.

These parks are maintained by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and due to the repeated acts of vandalism to the Helicopter Park, it has become unsustainable to continue to keep up with the costs of repairs to ensure the continued safe use of the equipment.

To the local community, this park is a well-used and loved facility. Unfortunately, due to the selfish actions of a few, it may now face permanent closure. Following the recent damage, DIO are undertaking the necessary repairs but will be unable to make any further financial commitment if the vandalism continues. Any further equipment damage will result in the permanent removal of the affected item(s) to maintain safety, ultimately leading to the closure of the park.

Officer Commanding Support Wing, Wing Commander Wren said “It is of great disappointment to RAF Halton that this course of action may need to be taken. We fully understand the importance of these play parks within the community but unfortunately the use of public funds to repair the park simply cannot continue”.