Bungling builders install bench facing a Wilko store instead of the riverside

News

Bungling builders installed a bench at a riverside park facing a Wilko store instead of the picturesque water front behind it.

The benches, set in concrete at a new development, face a wall built in the 1960s belonging to the homeware and garden store.

To its back is the riverside, which council leaders said was always meant to be the focus for passers-by wanting to sit and take a rest.

Red-faced contractors will now have to go back to the park site in Andover, Hampshire to turn all the benches around, at no extra cost to the council.

Leader of the council, Phil North, said: “Whilst it’s not unusual to experience some issues on a construction project, I couldn’t quite believe it when I visited the site on Tuesday.

“Maybe the contractors are just fans of 1960s architecture.

“Suffice to say, I immediately raised it with council officers, who had already arranged a snagging walkabout for this morning anyway. Some snag.

“Obviously they have been fitted incorrectly. They were, of course, always designed to face the river.

“I’m pleased to confirm that the bench company themselves are visiting the site next week to fix the issue at no extra cost. The armrests will also be installed at the same time.

“Whilst this is mildly embarrassing, overall I think the area is looking really smart – and will be transformed yet further once the grass has been laid next week.”

The leader said a number of residents had been in touch in recent days about the benches facing the wrong way.

The project will see other benches along the river which flows into the Andover canal.

One onlooker said: “They only had one job to do. Didn’t anyone think what they were doing? It’s unbelievable.”

Another resident added: “The area is looking brilliant. What on earth were the workmen thinking?

“Perhaps they were going to get someone to paint a riverside scene on Wilko’s wall. Oh dear you couldn’t make it up.”