Parents described their “bitter disappointment” at major delays to a kids playground opening that saw it closed for the entire summer.

The new £75,000 wet play area in Norwood Park was due to open in March, but the latest date for completion is in four weeks time – more than eight months late.

Lambeth Council blamed the “unacceptable delays” on the contractor building the project, RCP Landscapes.

But residents are also angry at the local authority for its apparent lack of action - especially after it trumpeted the project in a newsletter last week, despite the delays.

Mum-of-two Kate Corr said: “It’s a terrible shame for all the children in the area. For many it would have been their summer activity, as not everyone can afford to go on a summer holiday.

“It will be wonderful when it is finished but my children and many others have had to walk past it each day this summer and think about what could have been.”

A letter of complaint from parents to Lambeth Council said the lack of action to make sure the work was done on time showed “complete disregard - contempt even - for the people of Norwood”.

Ms Corr said to avoid a PR disaster the park was opened on a Lambeth Council organised community day – the Norwood Expo on July 24 – only for it to be shut hours later for more work.

The council said it was because they did not want children to be disappointed.

She said the site then went back to a state of relative inactivity - and the opening date was continuously pushed back.

She added because signs on the park saying when it would be open were not changed, children started playing on it, despite it being dangerous .

Lambeth Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, Councillor Pete Robbins, said: “We share the disappointment of parents and children who were looking forward to the opening of the water park over the summer.

“We are monitoring the situation daily to ensure work is completed in time for the play facility to be open in four weeks.”

RCP landscapes apologised to parents.