A Carnlough councillor says he is “delighted” that work has commenced on a long-awaited £100,000 play park in the village’s Croft Road area.
Villagers had previously launched a petition urging Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to restart work at the site, after work was halted due to the discovery of asbestos there in June 2015.
This May, councillors decided to allow the asbestos to remain and to place a capping layer of 600mm over the entire site.
Sinn Fein Councillor James McKeown says he is now hoping that the new community facility will open to the public next February or March after work started on November 14.
“This has been a long time coming and myself and local people are delighted, a lot of people were starting to lose heart as it hadn’t materialised,” he told the Times.
“This play park has been talked about for over 10 years, including with the legacy Larne Borough Council, so it has taken a long time to get to this stage.
“People are looking forward with great excitement, the contract is for 16 weeks so I hope it will be open at the end of February or March.”
Cllr McKeown said that families in the Croft and Gortin areas of the village had been “crying out” for such an facility, which would benefit both youngsters and adults.
“Previously, anyone from the north end of the village who wanted to take their kids to Beachlands Play Park had to walk along the Main Road, which is very narrow and treacherous for youngsters crossing,” he continued.
“This will enhance community safety, it’s in the perfect place away from the Main Street but near the community centre and a large car park.
“Also, it has been designed to blend in and enhance and complement the surroundings and rural landscape.
“It will enhance the walk from Hurry Head to Cranny Falls for everyone as well as giving the kids somewhere to go.”
A council spokesperson said that the new play park would be completed and opened in “spring 2017.”