VANDALISM has once again delayed the deliver of major improvements at a popular children's play area.

Eastleigh Borough Council says more damage has been deliberately caused at the Lawn Road play area in Boyatt Wood including layers of safety surfacing torn up before the rubber mulch had time to set.

This is said to have happened overnight on November 30 and comes just months after vandalism issues left residents and councillors frustrated at the same site.

Eastleigh Local Area Committee, which is delivering the play area improvements, has now placed a night-time security presence on-site.

This is now expected to "significantly" increase the final cost of the ongoing project to improve the play area with new play equipment.

The timeline for delivery of the play area has also been extended and the authority now says it is unlikely that it will be finished in time for Christmas, as originally hoped.

The Chair of the Eastleigh Local Area Committee, Councillor Alex Bourne, said: “It is hugely disappointing that a few mindless vandals are determined on destroying what should be a high quality and popular facility for children in the Lawn Road area – and bringing additional costs to local taxpayers.

"We know that residents in the neighbourhood will want to see an end to this wilful destruction of a local amenity and we would appeal to anyone with any information to share it with the police by calling 101, or via the Hampshire Constabulary website”.

The Lawn Road scheme has been "plagued" by vandalism over the past year, with costs to remedy the damage running into thousands.

The destruction includes an expensive basket swing being wrecked and the walls of a new climbing structure deliberately pushed over, more than once, midway through construction.

There has also been theft of materials with the project also having been delayed by other factors, including supply chain problems and contractors being hit by the pandemic.