Belfast Telegraph

Commuter row children’s garden gets a makeover

By Brian Lovett

Young people from the Lower Ormeau area this week helped plant new trees at a children's garden which has been at the centre of a row over commuter parking.

Last month The CT reported that local residents were furious at the “contempt” being shown by motorists who had “destroyed” the children's green space just off Cooke Street.

And a community worker had expressed concern that there could be angry scenes if motorists continue to tear up the grass on the council-owned area by parking on it.

The garden was originally revamped from waste ground as part of a project by children from the nearby St John Vianney Youth Centre.

Laganbank councillor Pat McCarthy, who lives in the area, yesterday helped young people plant the new trees provided by the city council.

He said he hoped they would act as a sign to motorists that they are not permitted to park on the grass.

Cllr McCarthy said it was a more aesthetically pleasing way of attempting to deal with the parking problem than putting up bollards.

And he added that along with the three new trees a fourth was planted to replace an old one which had died in the centre of the green.

“We’re trying to enhance this area that has been ruined by motorists,” he explained.

“The key is to involve the young people so that they can be part of it and and take ownership of it.”

Stephen Mulholland, a youth worker at the St John Vianney Youth Centre said: “It's creating ownership for the young people in the area.”

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