A PLAYING field in Theale has not had its grass cut in seven weeks because of construction work on a new primary school.

The North Street playing field has been fenced off, meaning the parish council’s contractors can’t access the field to cut the grass.

The grass is normally cut every fortnight.

A gate needs to be installed to allow access, but West Berkshire Council has not yet ordered one, according to email correspondence from Bill Bagnell, the project manager for the school.

The council is searching for a specific gate, with a box attached to protect the lock from bolt cutters.

Scofell, Theale Parish Council’s contractors, came to the North Street playing field on June 10 to cut the grass but could not get into the field.

Louisa Steele, the parish council clerk, said there was ‘no way of getting hold of Kier’, who are building the school, to remove some of the temporary fencing and allow Scofell access.

Parish councillors were frustrated with the delay at a meeting on June 10. Councillor Iain Hopcroft said: “We want it done as quickly as possible.”

Cllr Zoe Fenwick said: “Let’s get West Berks to get their people to cut the grass immediately.”

Separately, work on the replacement playing field has also been delayed.

Preparing the replacement field, on the land north west of North Street playing field, was supposed to start at the same time as the building of the school.

However, Theale Parish Council only recently learned about a drain cover in the replacement field, where a football pitch had been planned.

One resident at the June 10 meeting said: “It’s absolutely disgraceful the way this has been delayed. We’re all getting really frustrated now.”

Some councillors said it seemed like Mr Bagnell had also only just learned about the drain cover.

The pitch and the car park in the replacement field will be flipped, so the drain cover is not in the way of the pitch.

Cllr Jan Richardson said: “This was supposed to be sorted at the same time as the school. Why has this field been left?”

Cllr Hopcroft said: “The sooner they start, the better.”

West Berkshire Council was asked to comment but did not reply.