DRAINAGE DELAYS ASHBURY PLAY PARK

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THERE have been calls for action to resolve drainage problems that are delaying plans for a play park in the Ashbury area.

Local DUP representatives have expressed their ‘frustration’ that the play park planning application has been delayed due to drainage concerns raised by NI Water.

Following a recent meeting of the council’s Community and Wellbeing Committee, councillors agreed to hold a site meeting with the water company with a further report being brought back outlining further options if a resolution can’t be reached.

The elected representatives have pledged to provide a play park for families in the Bangor East area and described the delay as ‘deeply unfair especially to children’.

Calling for a resolution to be found, Assemblyman Stephen Dunne said the Bangor East area is very deserving of a play park.

“The area has many young families with children who are eager to have a play park facility that is local to them that they can use and enjoy everyday,” he said..

“A play park in the area would help children in their personal development and be a great asset for the local community. 

“I would urge that all parties in the development process use their influence to seek a speedy resolution. The longer the play park is delayed, the more families will lose hope that a play park will ever be delivered.

“There is a thriving community in the Bangor East area which I feel definitely warrants a play park due to its growing size.”

Councillor James Cochrane said it is frustrating to see Ashbury play park has been further delayed with the planning application not being determined due to concerns from NI Water around drainage.

“It is greatly unfair to families and especially children in Bangor East that NI Water continues to hold up the development of Ashbury play park,” he said.

“As a result of this at last month’s Community and Wellbeing Committee meeting I alongside another councillor proposed that council officers meet with NI Water and the developer for an onsite meeting to seek a resolution around the drainage concerns alongside a report being brought back to the committee by officers detailing alternative options if the current plans cannot be achieved.

“I was happy to see our proposal pass and with my colleagues Stephen Dunne MLA and councillor Janice MacArthur, I will continue to work alongside all relevant stakeholders to ensure Ashbury Play Park is delivered.’

Councillor MacArthur said it would appear that NI Water as a statutory consultee is dragging out the storm water offsetting process.

“I would urge them to work with the developer to enable this application to move through planning,” she said. “It is not acceptable that a significantly large residential area with two feeder primary schools is without play provision and I will continue to work to ensure that a play park is provided in this area.”