New play areas are proposed

The entrance to Drumbeg.
The entrance to Drumbeg.

New play areas for three areas of Craigavon are being planned, the Lurgan Mail can reveal.

Plans are afoot to create new play areas in Drumbeg, Moyraverty and Parkmore.

These areas are regarded as parts of Craigavon suffering high levels of social deprivation.

Craigavon Borough Council is in negotiations with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive about acquiring land to create the much needed facilities.

It is understood the Council is discussing potentially leasing the land or transferring it for play areas, subject to a successful bid for Neighbourhood Renewal Funding.

The Council is also seeking funding for a play area at Lord Lurgan Memorial Park, which it already owns.

A spokesperson for the NIHE said: “Further to your query I can confirm on 31 March, 2014, the Housing Executive received a request from Craigavon Borough Council regarding the proposed provision of play areas on our lands at Drumbeg, Moyraverty and Parkmore.

“This request is under consideration by the relevant departments. Once agreed we will be in contact with the Council to provide indicative land values and detail the most appropriate type of tenure to assist them with their funding arrangements.”

In the past, the NI Housing Executive has generally transferred such lands by way of a 10,000 year lease at a nominal sum of £5 with Council being responsible for the Executive’s legal fees.

However, recently it has been made known that leases will not exceed 25 years and the value will be assessed/negotiated by the Land and Property Services (Valuation).

The sites have been selected by the Council’s Leisure Services following consultation with local community groups and officials from the NI Housing Executive.

A spokesperson for Craigavon Borough Council said: “There is currently ongoing discussions around this proposal and the matter is under consideration – it will be discussed further in May.”