Summer start expected on Fairview playpark

Councillor Paul Rankin, Thomas Smyth, Dromore in Action and Doing it for Dromore, Brenda Hale, MLA, Norah Beare, and Jeffrey Donaldson, MP. INBL19-FAIRVIEW
Councillor Paul Rankin, Thomas Smyth, Dromore in Action and Doing it for Dromore, Brenda Hale, MLA, Norah Beare, and Jeffrey Donaldson, MP. INBL19-FAIRVIEW

WORK is expected to begin this summer on a proposed new playpark at Fairview, Dromore, this after the plans were given the green light at last week’s monthly meeting of Banbridge District Council.

As The Leader reported last week, a recommendation on awarding a contract to construct the new playpark went before the council last Tuesday night.

Replacing the existing facilities at Fairview kicks off a five-year Strategy for Play Provision in the District, as agreed in January this year.

Groundwork NI was commissioned to prepare the necessary tender documentation and, having evaluated the tenders, presented a report to an April 16 meeting of the council’s Leisure and Development Committee, where

their principal landscape architect, Ms. Judy Meharg, explained the proposals for the play facilities.

The council last week ratified the committee’s recommendation that the local authority award the contract in line with the Groundworks NI tender report.

Among the first to welcome the go-ahead was Dromore Councillor Paul Rankin, who said ahead of the meeting he hoped the proposal would win the necessary support.

In a joint statement, he and fellow Dromore DUP Councillor Hazel Gamble later paid tribute to former councillor Norah Beare, who had campaigned at length, they said, for the new facilities.

“This project has been on the radar for some time,” they said, “and we have been lobbying for this to go through council.

“Special praise must also go to former councillor, Norah Beare, who was first approached by residents a number of years ago and raised this issue with leisure officers, campaigning for this play provision.

“DUP council candidates had pledged, prior to the last local government election in 2011, to keep this issue on the agenda.

“It is expected that the contractor will be on site over the summer.”

Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale, also welcomed news of the play provision.

She said, “My Dromore office has been approached by local residents and we have continued to press and lobby for this play provision.

“I am delighted that this scheme is to go ahead; it will be a great asset for the local community and I would also pay tribute to the local councillors, past and present, who have worked so hard with the community and council officers to see this scheme come to fruition.”