Anger over temporary play park closure

The play park beside the Antrim Forum which is closed for renovations. INAT31-401AC

The play park beside the Antrim Forum which is closed for renovations. INAT31-401AC

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Local children hoping to make use of the good weather and enjoy the play park at Antrim Forum have been left disappointed with the park closed for maintenance over the past number of weeks.

A number of angry and disappointed parents contacted the Antrim Times this week questioning the logic of closing one of the borough’s most popular play parks, particularly during the July fortnight holiday.

One resident said: “Of all the weeks for them to close this play park they choose this one.

“The weather has been fantastic and we took our family down but couldn’t believe it when we arrived and it was closed for maintenance.”

The parent added: “There were lots of disappointed children and mothers being turned away, it really is unacceptable.

“I rang the council for more information and the person I was speaking to just offered me a complaints form to fill out.”

Another mother told the Times she had travelled to the Forum play park to meet up with friends from outside the borough.

“We chose the Antrim Forum playpark for handiness as it’s central to where we all live,” the mum explained.

She added: “We weren’t aware that it would be closed and were very disappointed to arrive and find that it was closed for maintenance.”

The mum added that her two children were left upset as they had been looking forward to their outing to the park.

“My little boys were in tears as they had been looking forward to their day out to the park,” the mum said.

She added: “It just doesn’t make sense to me why it was closed during the school holidays.”

A spokesperson for Antrim Borough council told the Times that the play park has been closed for refurbishment.

The spokesperson added that a spell of dry weather is required for certain aspects of the refurbishment to be completed successfully, adding that consultations with users had taken place.

“The Borough of Antrim Peace Park, adjacent to the Antrim Forum, is currently undergoing major renovations,” the spokesperson said.

She added: “The Park, which was opened in 2000 as part of the Millennium celebrations, is extremely popular among the borough’s residents.

“Antrim Borough Council is currently completing a project of works in the park which includes refurbishment of equipment, in both the junior and senior sections, replacement of equipment in the senior section and new safety ground covering throughout.

“Access to the park has been maintained throughout the work schedule where possible, with closure of the park limited to the last three weeks of the programme.

“To facilitate the installation of the specialist safety ground covering, a period of good weather is critical therefore the summer months are the most suitable time for carrying out this work.”

It was confirmed that work is due for completion this week and following a ROSPA safety inspection, is scheduled to re-open on Friday.

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