Popular playground proving a headache for local residents

Popular playground proving a headache for local residents

19 September 2012

A NEW playground in Castlewellan has become a victim of its own success, according to a local politician.

The new play facility at a cul-de-sac at Bunker’s Hill is being widely used, but this is causing problems for residents at this part of the town.

It emerged at last week’s meeting of Down Council’s Recreation and Community Services Committee that parents driving their children to the playground are inadvertently blocking residents’ driveways and gateways.

Councillor Carmel O’Boyle outlined the inconvenience residents are experiencing and said the new playground had become a “victim of its own success.”

Councillor Willie Clarke agreed and said he had met with residents to discuss their concerns. He said parking remained a problem which had to be addressed.

He continued: “Parked cars belonging to people taking their children to the playground are causing a nuisance. I asked the Roads Service about providing double yellow lines but it wasn’t happy with such a suggestion.”

Councillor Stephen Burns said some people did not realise their vehicles were causing a nuisance to residents and highlighted the need to come up with what he described as a “sensible solution” to the problem which would not cost much to implement.

“As things currently stand, the situation for residents who live close to the playground is a nightmare,” he added.

Council official, Mr. Patrick McCluskey, said most of the problems at Bunker’s Hill were experienced when children were off school for the summer and that discussions were ongoing in a bid to resolve the parking problem.

He said the Housing Executive was keen for the council to take over a small portion of land which it currently owned in the Bunker’s Hill area and could be used as a turning area or small car park.

Mr. McCluskey also suggested that the opening of a new playground in Annsborough next year could ease the parking congestion.

It was also confirmed that an existing council-owned playground at Mourne Gardens in Castlewellan will be closed as a result of the opening of the new facility at Bunkers Hill. Councillors were told the Mourne Gardens site could potentially be redeveloped to provide allotments.