NEW play equipment which was agreed as part of a development on a former hospital site more than 20 years ago is finally set to be installed – half a mile away.

Open land was secured for Halcyon Close as part of a 1997 agreement between Braintree Council and the developers of the old Bridge Hospital site, in Witham.

But the land was not transferred to the council until 2012 along with £39,000 for the play equipment.

A public consultation in 2014 found there was opposition to the play equipment from residents in Halcyon Close so the decision was taken not to install it.

The wording of the agreement meant the £39,000 could not be spent at any other location in the town.

It was proposed to the developer, Persimmon Homes, that 25 per cent of the cash be spent on landscaping improvements at Halcyon Close and the rest used for new equipment at the Alan Road play area, off Allectus Way.

It was not until May this year that paperwork allowing the money to be spent elsewhere was signed by the developers.

Braintree Council is now ordering the equipment for the Alan Road site using the £29,320 available to them.

According to a letter sent to Witham Town Council, the most appropriate equipment for the site costs £38,640 – £9,320 more than the available sum. Cash collected by the the district council from housing developments in Witham will cover the shortfall.

Town councillor Clare Lager said: “I must say I’m really pleased to see it will be put in place at long last.

“It’s certainly been a long time coming and I’m sure it will be enjoyed.”