16 new areas for kids to play – naturally

by Ian Begley
0 comment

Sixteen new play spaces are to be built in Lucan and Palmerstown over the next five years; it was recently agreed at a Lucan area committee meeting.
A presentation made by South Dublin County Council proposed that the five-year play space programme will commence this year, starting with Woodfarm Acres and Griffeen Avenue. It is expected that they will be completed this year.
The spaces will focus on natural play activities, which will include the provision of items such as boulders, logs, wildflower areas, tree planting and mounding. These items aim to encourage children to use their own imagination.
The initiative is an example of the council’s pledge to include a substantial investment in improved community services in this year’s budget.
The play space programme for this year is aimed in particular at local open spaces that will cater for the zero to eight age group and that will allow for access by walking from residential areas.
These locations were chosen on the basis of need, distance from existing facilities, and site suitability.
Chairperson of the Lucan area committee Cllr Guss O’Connell (Ind) welcomed the now agreed play spaces for Lucan and Palmerstown.
Speaking to the Gazette he said: “This is something I have campaigned for since the early 90s – that we would have local play areas where children could mingle in total safety. The necklace of 16 play areas, ranging from local to neighbourhood to regional [areas], is a model of national significance.
“Significantly, there will be a huge local input at the planning stage. It is intended to consult with local organisations concerning the programme including with the local residents groups, Comhairle na nOg, adjacent community centres and schools,” said Cllr O’Connell.
Lucan Cllr Eamon Tuffy (Lab) also welcomed the news of the new play spaces and said there has been a long need for a playground in the Lucan area.
“The council has had a playground programme after drafting a playground strategy about six or seven years ago. [At the time] South Dublin had more golf clubs than playgrounds.
“You can call them play spaces or playgrounds but they would have no more than three or four items of equipment. I think the manager [from SDCC] reckons that [the play spaces] can be done for about four or five grand each.
“They will be a bit like the adult exercise equipment in community parks, and there won’t be barriers around them. There will hopefully be seats for parents to sit down and two or three items of [play] equipment like a slide, climbing stuff and maybe a swing,” said Cllr Tuffy.
It is intended that the spaces constructed in 2014 will be in Woodfarm Acres and Griffeen Avenue.
Development for spaces in 2015 are to be placed in three areas in Lucan – Waterstown Park Regional, Griffeen Valley Park Regional and Sarsfield Park.
In 2016, Ballyowen Park, Lucan Demesne and Finnstown are expected to receive play spaces, while in 2017 Willsbrook Park, Hillcrest Estate and Glenaulin Park will get their own local and neighbourhood play spaces.
Finally in 2018, Beechpark, Hillcrest Estate, and Esker Park are expected to receive their own play spaces.

Related Articles