Hundreds sign park petition

Craigavon City Park
Craigavon City Park

More than 700 people have signed an online petition to save Craigavon City Park within 24 hours of it being set up.

Since news that the new Southern Regional College would be sited on the shores of Craigavon Lakes, an online campaign began to stop the building.

A public consultation is being held at Craigavon Civic Centre on Wednesday, November 23, at 6.30pm to discuss the proposals.

Lobbyists plan to go to the meeting to voice their concerns at building the college at the park.

The group state: “We grew up enjoying the nature and wonder of Craigavon Lakes, we continue to enjoy the walks and the views. Now Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council are allowing the Southern Regional College Further Education Campus to be built on the site beside the planned new leisure centre. They are closing the Lurgan and Portadown Campuses and building a single site at Craigavon Lakes. The character and tranquility of the site will be destroyed.

The group asks that the relevant authorities stop the SRC from developing this site and re-zone the land to prevent further development.

Some of those lobbying against the development went to the unveiling of the SRC plans on Monday night and have voiced considerable disapproval.

“It is huge and in no way sympathetic to the surroundings of our city park. More like an industrial estate with bird boxes,” said one post who said the development is three storeys high in some parts.

Concern has also been expressed about the various bird species that may be lost to the development and that the area is home to bats and Kingfishers which are protected.

The Lakes were built in the 1970s to provide recreational opportunities for the population of the newly developed area of central Craigavon. During the late 1990s over ten thousand trees were planted creating the new woodland around the lakes and in 2008 much of the site, including the North Lake, was designated as a Nature Reserve.

The petition is to be sent to the Council Planning Department. For more information check out: www.change.org/p/armagh-banbridge-and-craigavon-borough-council-save-craigavon-city-park-and-lakes Or: www.facebook.com/SAVE-Craigavon-City-PARK-137012213112938/?fref=ts