Councillor Alan Barr pictured at the play park in Maybin Park, Kells.
Braid Ulster Unionist Councillor, Alan Barr, has called for the retention of Maybin Park play park in Kells. This is in light of an upcoming consultation on the future of the play park.
Councillor Barr fears that if it is removed then local children will be adversely affected.
At a recent Council Neighbourhoods and Communities committee meeting, Maybin Park play park was one of several play parks selected for potential transformation.
This selection resulted from research conducted into the current status of play parks within the Borough. Maybin Park play park was identified as having 'equipment no longer fit for purpose and would require a full refurbishment'.
Therefore, a four-week public consultation exercise will be conducted in December 2023.
If this consultation is in agreement, the play park site will be transformed in February 2024. This transformation will mean that the site will be returned to grass and the lease from Northern Ireland Housing Executive terminated.
Details of the public consultation will be placed on the play park.
Councillor Alan Barr said:
"Maybin Park play park is used regularly by at least twenty-five local children living in Maybin Park and the surrounding housing developments. This is not to mention the children who use the play park when visiting grandparents in the area.
"Additionally, the play park contains the only special needs swing in the village. There would be difficulty, due to limited space, in placing such a swing at the neighbourhood play park at the Community Centre".
Councillor Barr continued:
"I fully accept that the play park requires refurbishment but it should not be removed and grassed over. I believe that the site has the potential to become an inclusive playpark.
"A recent report from Playboard NI highlighted that 57% of families who have a child with special needs are unable to play in play parks as often as they would like. One reason for this is that improvements have not been sufficient to provide high-quality participative play opportunities for all.
"Consequently, by refurbishing Maybin Park play park as an inclusive playpark, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council can play a vital role in meeting the needs of children with special needs in the area.
"I encourage all residents of Maybin Park and the surrounding areas to partake in the upcoming consultation".