A motion that was controversially transferred to a non public working group at Newry, Mourne and Down Council's October meeting is once again very much back out in the open!

The motion brought by a cross party group of councillors called for a 15 Acre Park at the Albert Basin, a much needed facility that is massively supported by the people of Newry city.

The derelict site at Albert Basin in Newry, the proposed site of a new 15 Acre Newry City Park. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
The derelict setting at Albert Basin in Newry, the proposed site of a new 15 Acre Newry City Park. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Tomorrow the Newry, Mourne and Down Council's Strategy, Policy and Resources Committee are poised to debate the issue tomorrow at the monthly SPR meeting in Downpatrick.

If the motion passes tomorrow it would go to the full council meeting in December to be ratified and the mechanism to produce a world class 15 acre public park at the Albert Basin site in Newry City would be set in motion.

It's Item 14 on the agenda and the open to the public meeting is at 5pm in the Mourne Room, Downshire Civic Centre, Downpatrick.

The Notice of Motion was received in October from Councillors Brown, Stokes, Tinnelly and Taylor and put to the full council meeting that month but wasn't heard as the Chairperson referred it directly to a working group.

Commenting on the latest progress to get the motion debated, Brian Cleland, Chairman, Newry 2020 said 

"This is the culmination of many years of work by many community groups, led by Newry 2020 and we initally hoped that this would have been debated on the 2nd of October at the monthly council meeting but there has been resistance within the council. We are delighted to have finally gotten to the point where the motion will be debated and voted on."

Mr Cleland concluded "We would like to thank the cross party group of councilors who fought so hard to make this happen and hope that all parties will vote to recognise the will of the Newry people for a 15 acre park on the Albert Basin"

The Park Motion (Brought by Councillors Patrick Brown, Gary Stokes, Jarlath Tinnelly and David Taylor)

'This Council confirms its commitment to a full, 15-acre community park project on the Albert Basin site in Newry. The Council recognises that the Albert Basin site was given to the people of Newry in 1986 and that a commitment was given at that time to develop it as a recreation and amenity area for the generations of the future. It also recognises the work of community activists in presenting their plans for the park through a petition with over 10,000 signatures.

Council commits to delivering a park in parallel with other capital works projects in Newry within the next Council term. The Council shall within 3 months establish a task and finish group reporting to the Capital Projects Working Group, consisting of elected members, community representatives and a dedicated Council officer to establish plans to move the Albert Basin park project forward and investigate funding options’.