Final play plan for Derry & Strabane needed ‘now not manana’ - what’s planned for your area?

A report brought to Derry and Strabane’s Environment and Regeneration Committee updating them on the Play Plan led UUP Alderman Derek Hussey to call for the final play plan ‘now, not mañana.’

Saturday, 3rd July 2021, 10:45 am

A raft of new play parks and upgrades to existing facilities are among the measures proposed for different areas of the city and district.

The report stated that ‘Play Board NI have undertaken an individual site assessment of all 84 existing play areas and scored them accordingly using a RAG (Red, Amber, and Green) traffic light system based on play value score.

“The first draft of the Play Plan is now complete. Council officers will format the draft into a presentation document for public consultation using Council’s inhouse graphic designers. A child friendly version will be developed to accompany the main document.’

Strathfoyle Peoples Play Park. DER4117-114KM
Strathfoyle Peoples Play Park. DER4117-114KM

It noted that ‘design guidance for new play areas is being developed separately and will be shared with members at the next committee meeting.

‘The Play Plan is to be costed up over the summer, members will be appraised of the outcome of these processes June/July 2021’ with the ‘final Play Plan to be presented to Committee in September/October 2021.’

Alderman Hussey said: “I’m asking that cognizance be given to the length of time some of the play parks across the City and District have been sitting ‘crying out for attention’.

“It’s needed now, mañana doesn’t work any more. There is considerable frustration in the community, we need to get this out on the ground now.”

The Brooke Park play area.

Alderman Keith Kerrigan echoed the sentiments of Alderman Hussey adding: “We welcome the work that is being carried out but the rural end just doesn’t cut it.”

Councillor Steven Edwards described the time frame as ‘disappointing’. “I was hoping that there would be movement a bit quicker. I would hope that council could redouble their efforts on the capital plans especially for the low valued play park areas.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson said the report ‘outlines the scale of the task in front of us all.’

“There is a lot of work that has gone on by our council team to address the need and gaps in our play park provision. I don’t believe the report tells us anything that our officers weren’t aware of but it does give us a framework for a strategy.

Culmore Country Park. DER3817GS058

“We should be directing resources where there is an objective need and the Play Plan will show us where that need is.

“I’m hoping as we move forward with the Play Plan that will help us target resources and avoid us being left in a situation where projects that have been left sitting on a shelf. We can’t raise people’s expectations and leave them years without delivery.”

 

recommendations for Derry areas

Ballyarnett Area

It has been recommended that three new fixed play areas be developed to meet play need at:  Carnhill, Elmore/Earhart and Culmore Country Park.

The play plan recommends that enhancements be made at 3 existing play locations, namely:  Templemore Play area, Culmore Area – the existing play area at Ballynagard to be relocated to a new site and enhanced.

The play plan recommends that enhancements or partial upgrades be made at Ballyarnett Play area.

Based on the play assessment process, the remaining four play areas located at Shantallow, Glenabbey, Leafair and Galliagh continue to meet play need, offer a good level of play value and do not currently require any immediate action. 

Waterside Area

It has been recommended that four new fixed play areas be developed to meet play need at – Top of the Hill; Waterstone Park/Windridge Way/Thornlea Gardens area; Knightsbridge/Pelham Road/Sevenoaks area; Lincoln Court and The Triangle. The play plan recommends that upgrades be made at three existing low play value locations, namely:  Currynierin Play area (Planning permission is secured); Stevensons Park Play area; Fountain Hill Play area; St Columbs Park Adventure Play. Play Area Partial Upgrade/Enhancement: St. Columbs Park (Junior). Removal/Transformation: Faughan Crescent; Faughanview; Rossdowney Drive; Milltown View. Based on play value scores and a continued level of demand, the remaining 6 play areas located at Lapwing Way, Rose Court, Roulstone Ave., Irish Street, Kilfennan and Drumahoe District Park continue to meet play need, offer a good level of play value and do not currently require any immediate action. 

 

Foyleside Area

It has been recommended that three new fixed play areas be developed to meet play need at: St. Eithne’s, Ardgrange and Grangemore area; Coshquin (Planning Permission is secured); Lower Strand Road (incorporation of playable features). The play plan recommends that upgrades be made at: Hazelbank Play area to neighbourhood designation (located adjacent to new community centre). Based on play value scores and a continued level of demand, the play areas located at Ballymagroarty, Glen and Pennyburn continue to offer a good level of play value and do not currently require any immediate action.

Faughan Area

It has been recommended that three new fixed play areas be developed to meet play need at: Prehen; Tamnaherin; Bready. Enhancement to be made at: Strathfoyle Play area – enhancement to incorporate inclusive play equipment and access and Primity Crescent (minor improvements to enhance play value). Based on play value scores and a continued level of demand, a number of play areas continue to offer a good level of play value and do not currently require any immediate action – Carnmoney; Pinewood Crescent; Nicholson Gardens; Lettershandoney; Goshaden; Enagh Crescent.

The Moor Area

It has been recommended that two new fixed play areas be developed to meet play need  at- Nixon’s Corner and Glenowen. Upgrades to be made at 1 existing low play value location: Bull Park  Enhancement to be made at: Oakland Park – inclusive play opportunities to be introduced.

Based on play value scores and a continued level of demand, a number of play areas continue to offer a good level of play value and do not currently require any immediate action – The Fountain; Bishops Field; Brandywell; Riverview Park; Brooke Park.

Gillian Anderson

Local Democracy Reporter