Newry.ie

It appears that avoiding a substantial reduction in the size of the Albert Basin Park due to provision of car parking spaces on the site may be the next battle for campaigners seeking to have a full 15 Acre world class Park at the derelict site beside the Quays Shopping Centre. There are already 215+ car parking spaces in the immediate vicinity of the park, not including the 1000+ at The Quays!

In 2017 councillors from Newry, Mourne and Down District Council voted unanimously for a 15 Acre Park at the site but three years later Newry is still the only city in Ireland without a park.

A draft Albert Basin Park Consultation survey document shown at a recent Albert Basin Park Task and Finish Group meeting was deemed unacceptable by those present due to questions relating to housing and commercial development on the site. Those present managed to remove seven questions and two references relating to building houses and the provision of commercial development on the site.

An empty Canal Bank car park on Buttercrane Quay in Newry. Just 20 metres from the entrance to the proposed Albert Basin Park. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
An empty 175 space Canal Bank Car Park on Buttercrane Quay in Newry. It is just 20 metres from the entrance to the proposed Albert Basin Park! Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

Car Parking Mention Remains

A request at the meeting by Newry 2020 to remove a question including car parking as an option was met with resistance and a 2020 representative claims they we weren't allowed to discuss the matter. Today the Albert Basin Park Project, an offshoot of Newry 2020 has suggested council management are proposing to move car parking from behind Newry Cathedral to the site.

In the original draft consultation which Newry.ie has seen, a  question about parking hinted that a car parking area could be used to cover contaminated ground.

The question said "Parking areas can be a way to safely cover ground which may have been contaminated by previous industry. Thinking about providing parking in the redeveloped Albert Basin, please indicate which of the statements below you agree with (choose only one)?"

The options give were: "The only parking should be for blue badge holders; The only parking should be parent and child spaces; The only parking should be blue badge holder and parent and child spaces; There should be no parking on the redeveloped site; There should be parking provision for all users of the site."

The Survey will be open for submissions this coming week.

"Is the Council planning to turn the Albert Basin into a Car Park"

Published today on the Albert Basin Park Project's Facebook Page a statement asked "Is the Council planning to turn the Albert Basin into a Car Park" and adds "At the last meeting, they fought hard to make car parking a prominent option on the survey - now we know why."

The group's post adds "Incredibly, we have heard from multiple sources that council management have recently proposed moving car parking from the back of the Cathedral to the Albert Basin as part of their plans to build new council offices."

Their statement ends "Given the recent public outcry at attempts to put housing and retail on the site, it beggars belief that these attacks on our green space are still happening.

"The council has committed to 15 acres of GREEN SPACE at the Albert Basin Park. Elected representatives have promised us a "world class city park". The people of Newry deserve nothing less.

"It is time the senior management of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council accepted this, and delivered on that commitment!"

In a scathing reply to the post Councillor Roisin Mulgrew, Chairperson of the Albert Basin Park Task and Finish Group said "I cannot believe the amount of stirring and untruths that are constantly being pedalled regarding this project. Time would be better spent encouraging people to complete consultation. Your elected reps are accountable to the electorate - YOU. u fortunately the antagonists that perpetuate these ridiculous rumours are answerable to no/one.:"

Car Parks in Vicinity

A recent comment on Twitter by Conor Graham, inspired by a post from architect Fearghal Murray showed that Newry has already 47 Acres of car parking in the city centre, not including on-street parking.

Albert Basin Park Project member and architect James McConville quipped in a podcast last week that over the years Newry has been very good in providing a park for cars but very poor in providing a park for people!

A 175 Space Car Park (Canal Bank 1) is sited opposite the entrance to the Albert Basin Park Site, It is just 20m from the entrance to the site. A realignment of the current pedestrian crossing on William Street is all that would be needed to easily access the park. Other car parks include 40 spaces at River Street, 80m away. Over 1000 car parking spaces are also available at The Quays Shopping Centre as well as on street parking on Mary Street and John Mitchel Place.

 

*CORRECTION 9/6/19

Changed: 

Car Parking Question Remains

A request at the meeting by Newry 2020 to remove a question on car parking was met with resistance

to

Car Parking Mention Remains

A request at the meeting by Newry 2020 to remove a question including car parking as an option was met with resistance

*It has come to our notice that the mention of Car Parking was part of a questions options and not in the question title itself.

 

 

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