Derry play park features along the quay on table as part of major play plans across the district

Derry City & Strabane District Council is considering play features along the quay for use by children from the Lower Strand Road.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 1:18 pm

The potential development will be subject to land availability but has been recommended by Play Board NI.

The play organisation was commissioned by the Council to develop a Play Plan for Derry. In a presentation to the Council Environment & Regeneration Committee Alan Herron, Director of Service Delivery and Development at Play Board said gaps in provision had been identified including the Lower Strand.

“In the Foyleside District Electoral Area (DEA) there are three potential new play areas, St. Eithne’s, Ardgrange and Grangemore being one site, Coshquin, where planning has been approved, and the Lower Strand Road. The Lower Strand Road is slightly different. It’s not a fixed play area with swings and roundabouts and so on. It’s really looking at playable features that could go along the riverfront there,” Mr. Herron explained.

An extensive audit of municipal parks scored just six in the top band (600 to 800).

In Derry the highest scoring parks were Brooke Park (660), the Pennyburn Play Trail (635), the Ballyarnett Play Park (620) and Strathfoyle (615). Mr. Herron told councillors sites for potential new play provision had been identified across all DEAs.

“We have Carnhill, Elmore/Earhart and Culmore Country Park where the design is currently ongoing,” said Mr. Herron, referring to proposed new areas in the Ballyarnett DEA. Two areas for new parks were identified in the Moor but Mr. Herron said the DEA would also benefit from new provision in Foyleside because it fell within the catchment.

“In the Moor DEA you have three sites for new parks Nixon’s Corner, Glenowen and St. Eithne’s, Ardgrange and Grangemore which we have mentioned already and is within the neighbouring Foyleside DEA but again the radial touches into this DEA,” he said. Prehen, Tamnaherin and Bready have been proposed for new provision in the Faughan DEA. And several gaps were identified in the Waterside, which didn’t have a single park in the top rank.

“In the Waterside a number of new potential play areas have been identified: Top of the Hill. We have one around the Waterstone Park/Windridge Drive/Thornlea Gardens area. One around Knightsbridge/Pelham Road/Sevenoaks and also Lincoln Court,” said Mr. Herron.

A further Draft Play Plan is due to be presented to the E&R committee . It’s hoped the plan will be costed during the summer and a final version presented to councillors in the autumn.