As key stakeholders in the Albert Basin Park project, we would like to highlight a number of concerns regarding the recent presentation by TetraTech to the Stakeholder Forum.
Given the huge public support for this project, its importance for the health and wellbeing of Newry people, and the fact that the council originally committed to delivering the park by May 2023, we find it unacceptable that the proposed plan will not be completed until 2029 at the earliest. It is hard to understand why, almost four years after the council was instructed to build a new city park on the Albert Basin, there is still no timeline for delivery of this project.
In order to address our concerns, and those of the wider community, we are asking you to reject the draft eight year Programme and instruct the council to come back with a plan for delivery in this term as was originally promised.
This plan should include a pop-up park and a play park in Phase One. We note that independent consultants have recommended a concurrent “Design and Build” procurement route as the fastest and most cost-effective way to deliver this project.
Finally, the vision of a “world class park” that was demanded by the community and promised by political parties must also be respected. The proposed design does not currently meet that standard as it is missing a number of key features identified by the community consultation, including a marina and an iconic lifting bridge over the canal. These elements should be reinstated in order to ensure that the high quality project that was originally promised is ultimately delivered.
Brian Cleland, Newry 2020
Colum Sands, Rostrevor Action Respecting the Environment
Columba O’Hare, Newry.ie
Davy Hyland, Former Newry Councillor
Debbie Brennan, Young People’s Representative
Fiona McAlinden, Our Lady’s Grammar School
Francis Gallagher, Daisy Hill Action Group
Gerry Brennan, Silvery Light Sailing
Grainne Powell Sticky Fingers Arts
Helena Young, Newry Maritime Association
James McAreavey, Newry Maritime Association
James McConville, Albert Basin Park Project
Maurice McConville, Newry Urban Sports
Oliver McGauley, Newry Coarse Fish Angling Club
Raymond Jackson, Confederation of Community Groups
Shirley Forshaw, Newry GP