Stay out of park or pay penalty, council warns

Peoples Park.  INPT3014-412
Peoples Park. INPT3014-412

People have been warned to stay out of Portadown People’s Park while renovation work is going on - or face prosecution.

The park has been closed to the public since the start of June but Craigavon Borough Council said this week that some people are still getting onto the site and putting their own and other lives at risk.

Kieran McCrory from Fox Contracts said, “We’re using heavy plant machinery so it’s extremely dangerous for anyone other than our construction workers to be on site.”

Councillor Kenneth Twyble, chair of the park’s project steering group, said the area was a construction site. “It’s dangerous, so for people’s own safety we’re taking a very tough approach,” he said.

“Anyone found trespassing will be prosecuted. We’re also asking residents if they see someone on site who clearly is not supposed to be there to contact us.”

In the first instance people should ring local police on 101. The contractor can also be contacted on 07918720559 or 07834543803 or alternatively ring Craigavon Council on 028 3831 2576.

To date, work on the £5.5million refurbishment has included drainage and earth work on a number of pitches. “There’s been placing of gravel tunnels and topsoil and sandy loam layers have been completed. More work is still needed on the pitches,” said a council spokesperson.

“Meanwhile, the events space area has started with the removal of the existing tennis court area and stripping of topsoil for reuse later in the transformation. Earthworks have also commenced to the new car park.”

The park will reopen in autumn 2015 with themed gardens, a new play park, sporting facilities, a pavilion, amphitheatre for events and concerts, and walks.

It will be replanted so people can enjoy the 26-acre site.

The project is part financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the EU’s PEACE III Programme for Peace and Reconciliation and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.