Judicial Review into Southern Regional College campus plans

Artist impression of the proposed Southern Regional College campus at Craigavon
Artist impression of the proposed Southern Regional College campus at Craigavon

A Judicial Review (JR) into the granting of planning permission for the new Southern Regional College at Craigavon is to be held in the High Court.

The siting of the new SRC campus at Craigavon Lakes has been vehemently opposed by local campaign groups.

They brought a case against Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council and it is to be heard between 27th and 29th January.

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie said: “This is an important day for the people of central Craigavon, who overwhelmingly opposed this planning application, and the wider population of the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon who will see this magnificent city park changed beyond recognition if the JR was to fail.

“Without a doubt the SRC should have a new build in central Craigavon and there are many green and brown spaces that offer exactly what they need and will help regenerate the area.

"However the decision to build on the only local park available to people in central Craigavon is a bad decision and it will rob people of a space that offers recreation, tranquillity and a unique natural experience. The new Leisure Centre is a fantastic facility and will retain good links to the communities around central Craigavon.

“However the new SRC will create a virtual barrier between the lakes and the local communities with the A3 Lake Rd acting like a demarcation line between central Craigavon and what would have been the community’s accessible park.

“It has been clear for some time that the South Lakes Master Plan – the Councils vision for the lakes – had predetermined that the SRC would go on the site of the city park. The council decision not to release this masterplan is subject to legal action following an information commissioners ruling that it should have been released. This is not a case of stopping investment in Craigavon; instead it is outlining that we should be able to have investment without taking away from the people of central Craigavon the only accessible park.”