A new “bigger and better” play park for the Barcroft area of Newry got the green light at meeting of Council on Monday night.
Following completion of a community consultation, as part of the council’s play park strategy for play facilities for the Greater Barcroft area, the council have proposed a state of the art facility which will greatly enhance the area.
The three sites considered as part of this consultation included the existing Raymond McCreesh and Barcroft play parks, as well as a third site at Loanda Crescent.
This is one of a series of consultations that have been taking place across the whole Newry, Mourne and Down district.
Sinn Fein councillor Liz Kimmins said the consultation for the Barcroft area has been one of the first to be completed and “the results have been very positive” based on the proposals councillors have been shown at Monday night’s meeting.
The responses to the consultation were provided by children, young people and adults and were gathered through an online consultation, through focus groups in the three local schools in the area (St Malachys, Cloughogue and Rathore Special School) and at an open session in Newry Leisure Centre.
Councillor Kimmins added: “Overall, there was very strong support for a brand new play park to be located at Loanda Crescent, and due to the increasing number of houses in this area, Council have subsequently proposed a much bigger and better facility than the two existing play parks in the area.”
Councillor Kimmins said it was essential that the local communities were kept fully consulted with and informed of all proposals.
“At the committee meeting, councillors were presented with drawings of what the new play park will look like, and I am delighted to see that it will incorporate facilities which will be accessible by all children, including children with disabilities,” she said.
Council have also agreed that appropriate parking provision will also be required and this will be included in the development of the play park.
“I have also asked council to ensure the management of the two existing sites will be properly dealt with and I have strongly emphasised the need for community engagement will take place to look at how we can put these to better use so they aren’t left to deteriorate, and I will continue to work with the local community and the council to consider the options available to them,” added councillor Kimmins.
“This much needed investment will be a huge boost for the Greater Barcroft area, and will benefit the whole community.
“I will continue to work with the local community and council officials to ensure the project is delivered to a high standard for the enjoyment of children and their families throughout the area.”