A HUGE mound of earth has appeared next to a children’s playground.

The huge pile in Gloucester Park, which residents said resembles Australia’s Ayers Rock, has been dubbed a safety hazard by fed-up neighbours.

The eyesore has built up while builders work on the latest stage of a controversial housing development.

The first 144 homes at Acacia Park have all been sold, and developer Barratt Homes has turned its attention to the second phase of 144 houses.

It will also include a boulevard pathway link into the town centre.

Andrew Buxton, 43, of Roodegate, led a campaign to stop Basildon Council selling off land at Gloucester Park for £4million back in 2009 to help fund Basildon Sporting Village.

He has contacted Barratt Homes a number of times over the past year to raise concerns about huge mounds of earth throughout Gloucester Park, but he said the problem has got steadily worse.

Mr Buxton said: “We have already complained about massive mounds which are really unstable and could easily fall over, but it doesn’t seem to make any difference.

“It is really bad that now there is one right next to the kids playground.

It’s awful and really dangerous.

The developers just don’t seem to care.

“It is an eyesore and makes Gloucester Park look a complete state. They just seem to making a mess of it.

“The project seems to be taking a really long time. It has dragged on for years and we’re all fed up.

“The other day my whole house started shaking because of the building work. It was pretty scary.”

Neighbour Keith Toms, 37, is terrified to let his three children play in the park while the project is ongoing.

He added: “The pile of earth has been building up, but the workers don’t seem to be doing anything with it, which I don’t understand.

“We won’t let our children go to the park because there are just too many hazards in the way and it doesn’t look safe. It’s a shame because we live so near, but they can’t make the most of it.”

Heavy rainfall has caused delays to work at Gloucester Park, meaning the mound of earth has been left longer than expected.

The land has been dug up to make way for a new lake, which will replace the old boating lake.

A security guards patrol Gloucester Park between 5pm and 7am to make sure the site is safe and fencing around the huge mound of land is checked every morning and every evening.

Jason Colmer, contract manager for the Acacia Park development, said: “There are warning signs and we have secured the fencing.

“In anything there is always danger, but this isn’t a hazard to any members of the public.

“We want to see the lake built for residents as soon as possible, but unfortunately weather conditions are out of our control.”