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Ormeau residents determined to keep stadium away from the 'People's Park'

By Linda McKee

Residents in Lower Ravenhill area of Belfast have said they had concert-goers urinating on their doorsteps following the recent Tennents Vital gig.

Speaking of their concerns that a multi-use sports stadium could be built at Ormeau Park, some said they would be tempted to move out of the area if similar behaviour were to become a regular occurrence. One woman said two cars were damaged during the two-day concert.

Around 80 residents - including former Lord Mayor, Sinn Fein councillor Alex Maskey - packed into Cooke Centenary Hall last night to debate the possibility that Ormeau Park could become the venue for the proposed national stadium.

While the Save Ormeau Park campaign says it has received assurances from most councillors - except from the UUP - that they are opposed to such a development, it said it was concerned that a report on the plan is being presented to the council's parks and leisure committee next Thursday. The campaign came together after a number of residents discussed their concerns while walking in the park, said Save Ormeau Park campaigner Frances Dowds.

"We realised we all felt strongly about the council proposing to build a great big whopping stadium in the middle of a historic green space," she said.

She warned the stadium would exacerbate heavy traffic congestion and is unsuitable to be sited in an inner city area of green space lying on a flood plain. The stadium proposal could clash with £100 million plans to upgrade sewers beneath the park under the Belfast Sewer Project, she said.

"The 'People's Park' is what it was called when it first opened in the early 1800s and we think it should stay the people's park," she added.

Belfast Telegraph


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