SDCC have proposed a Playspace for the Green area above between Butterfield Close and Marian Road. Some of you may know it as the Greenspace beside the Scout Den on Marian Road. At present this Green area has no facilities in it other than a pathway ,joining the two ends of it. So why put in a Playspace into this area at all?
Well, for one the demographics of the area is changing. Most of the houses in the area arebeing bought by young families.
Currently,in the area there are very few resources for young people. High demand for children’s playground in the area.
This would be a local Playspace for people in the Ballyroan/Butterfield area. It is not meant as a regional playground for people to drive to it. It would be similiar to the one in Glendoher which is so successful for that area. (see photos below).
Playgrounds can significantly improve children’s health, learning and social interaction.
Ireland is ranked fifth-highest among 27 EU countries in incidence of childhood obesity.
When designed properly playgrounds can really promote child development. A playground within walking distance would help alleviate traffic congestion. A playground would be good for the community. It would encourage social interaction and it would be a welcome resource. It is an area for parents and the many Grand-parents in the area to interact and enjoy their children.
The site in Marian is a perfect location for this development. At present the space is not much used as there is little in it for children or adults to benefit from, not even a bench. The park space in Glendoher has Fruit trees, a bio-diversity area, many benches, and great areas of trees and bushes for people to enjoy nature and walk their dogs ,with a bin there as well. It would also be an addition for the local Scout troupe.
Some of the arguements put forward against the proposed site are as follows.
- The age profile in the area does not warrant a “play space” and represents poor value for tax payers
- A few of the small number of children living here have been consulted and they would prefer to continue to play in the field in its natural state, as is currently the case. They have mentioned their fear of other children coming from outside the area, and the risk to them of bullying etc.
- Anti-social behaviour – many of us suffered for years from anti-social behaviour in the area and whilst thankfully there is little activity at the moment, we anticipate it returning with a vengeance in the event of this proposal being allowed to proceed
- Houses being devalued or becoming difficult to sell in the future
- Noise – there will be no fencing and the “play space” will be open 24/7. Many of us like to sit in our gardens and enjoy the peace and quiet of the vicinity, but this will change if the proposal goes ahead
- Traffic and parking – this will affect households on Butterfield Close, Marian Grove and Marian Road where parking is at a premium, and the roads are already busy with non-local traffic parking or passing through
- Loss of a lovely and well used existing amenity which is enjoyed by everyone, and is inclusive of all our needs
- Restrictions or a ban on dog walking in the space which is particularly used by the many elderly people living in the area. We cannot walk very far and it is ideal for us, and there are great opportunities to socialise with others in similar circumstances
- The area is unsuitable due to extensive flooding when there is heavy rain, especially throughout the winter
- Marian Road is very busy and is not suitable for the siting of a children’s “play space”
These arguements are well meant, and are genuine fears of some of the people in the area. But is it just an overall fear of “Change”. There is no doubt that young children in the 1-12 year range love play spaces. Better infrastructure and resources promoting sports and exercise in this area would help prevent health issues in adults and children.
These photos are of another playspace off Stocking Avenue. This has been a very welcome space for young families growing up in that area.
We in Knocklyon Network strongly support the SDCC in providing more local playspaces for Estates and clusters of Estates. These are for pedestrian access mainly and bring tremendous benefits to any area in terms of Community, Amenity, and Exercise.
Unfortunately, in our own area in Knocklyon Playspaces for Dargle Park, Woodstown, Idrone have been defeated. More playspaces are planned up to 2019. If you would like your area considered for a playspace,here is a link to the kind of considerations you will be asked to consider.
So make your voice heard , call for more playspaces. We also hope that we will get a Regional Playground for the whole of Knocklyon and Firhouse in 2018 to be built in Dodder Valley Park. With nearly 6000 children under the age of 12, we think we are entitled to it.