Belfast Telegraph

£1m water sports park moves a step closer as plans submitted to council

By Michael Sheils McNamee

The construction of a new £1m water sports park by Argento boss Peter Boyle on the outskirts of Belfast is sliding closer to becoming a reality, with plans for the first phase of the works having been submitted to Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.

The park - which will be on the site of the recently-drained Knockbracken Reservoir in Carryduff - would be the first water sports park of its kind in Northern Ireland.

Plans for the project were originally announced back in February.

This was followed by a 12-week consultation process, when members of the public were able to have their say about the planned project.

The application was accepted by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council last month.

While the ball is now rolling with the planning application, building work could still be quite a way off.

With a project of this size, a lengthy process is required to ensure that all relevant parties - including local residents and government departments - are consulted about how it will impact on them.

Once this has concluded, a report will be put before the planning department of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council for approval.

Speaking after announcing the project back in February, Boyle said that it would be a "significant investment and one that I know will bring visitors and tourists into Belfast and contribute to a growing tourist offering in the city".

"The water park will be the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and we are working with renowned watersports company Rixen to deliver this first class scheme."

If given the go-ahead, the project would also inject new jobs into the local economy.

Boyle has said that the project would create 20 new jobs during the construction period, with 10 permanent positions and an additional 20 seasonal staff being taken on during the peak months.

Sitting alongside the main water area there would also be four water polo pitches, a 'glamping' site with room for 10 pods, a water-boarding cable park, and a boathouse with a clubhouse and storage facilities for the Belfast Kayak Academy.

The site will also have on-site parking space and a reception and storage building.

The reservoir had originally been constructed at the beginning of the 20th century as a way of storing water from the Mourne Mountains.

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