THE FUTURE of a playpark in Kircubbin under threat of demolition is to come before Ards and North Down Council again in the hopes of reversing its closure. 

A meeting was due to be held on Monday to discuss the fate of the Parsonage Road park, after its demolition was halted the week following the intervention of local political representatives and parents.

But it was postponed after all six local councillors in the area signed what is called a Rescinding Notice of Motion, in a move designed to prompt the council ‘to review the issues and have the decision postponed’, according to alderman Robert Adair.

The removal of the playpark was approved by councillors in October as part of the council’s 10-year Play Strategy. 

That was planned because the council was planning to upgrade another Kircubbin playpark, which is located at The Green, to a higher standard, Tier One facility – at a cost of £170,000. That move, said the council, would leave the Parsonage Road facility surplus to requirements.

The interruption to the planned demolition has not, however, thwarted The Green development, with work to create that park – including a multi-use games area or MUGA – commencing on Tuesday.

In a consultation exercise conducted by the council last autumn, just over 76% of the 227 people quizzed about the plans supported the upgrading of the Green playpark, although people living near the Parsonage Road park said they knew nothing about the consultation.

Mr Adair said this week that he and councillor Davy Kerr ‘have spent a lot of time meeting with local families impacted by the closure of Parsonage Road playpark in Kircubbin’.

“Last Monday Davy and I were able to work together to ensure the demolition planned for that day was rightly cancelled until local children and families had their say in the decision making process.

“We have been calling for all councillors to work together on this issue and welcome following our efforts all six Ards peninsula councillors,” he said, outlining that those representatives include three from the DUP, and one each for the Alliance Party, the SDLP and the UUP. 

Mr Adair paid tribute to the concerted efforts of a parent of a small child who is a regular user of the much-loved park. 

“We thank Chris Atcheson for his tireless campaigning on behalf of the local community and we will be working to ensure the needs of children and young people of Kircubbin are at the heart of the decision making process on this issue at council,” said Mr Adair.

“The demolition of the playpark is now on hold pending the outcome of this Notice of Motion we will be working to ensure it is passed to have the decision rightly postponed,” he confirmed.

“We believe the council has got this decision wrong and will be working to ensure this wrong is put right with any future decision delivering the best outcome for all children and young people in Kircubbin,” he added.