Residents in Lisburn and Castlereagh are set to enjoy better and more accessible parks and open spaces, thanks to a strategy and action plan put in place by the council. We recognise that good quality and easily-accessible green, open spaces can contribute to a better quality of life – and that’s something we want for all our residents.
In 2022, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council carried out a 12-week public consultation to ask for the public’s views on what outdoor areas were most in need of improvement. Based on that feedback, the council developed its Open Spaces Strategy and will be developing a rolling five-year action plan which will be added to on a biannual basis.
‘Green Open Spaces’ include outdoor areas such as parks, greenways, community gardens, allotments, playgrounds and sports facilities. The original council vision was to improve these so that they could be enjoyed by everyone.
The action plan will set out some of the measures and upgrades that will happen in the Lisburn and Castlereagh area over the next number of years.
Some projects aligned to the new strategy have already been completed including:
- improving access to open spaces
- carrying out landscaping projects
- creating and refurbishing children’s play parks
- connecting existing open spaces
- developing community gardens
- planting more than 20,000 native species of trees.
Why did we develop this strategy?
As part of the council’s Local Development Plan, we carried out an audit in 2019 which assessed open space provision, accessibility and our future actions. The findings and the consultation feedback were used to develop this strategy and create a vision for our open spaces.
What does the strategy do?
The strategy focuses on:
- developing a network of multi-functional open spaces, which can deliver environmental, economic and social benefits for local communities.
- helping us recognise the importance of creating a healthy, active and accessible environment that connects places and people – and where biodiversity, conservation and adapting to climate change are key.
- encouraging social interaction, play, sport and recreation in our green spaces and for children, young people and adults to enjoy a range of attractive, accessible parks and open spaces.
- protecting and enhancing existing open spaces – helping to diversify urban habitats and extend the green network.
As well as these benefits, we also believe this work can reinforce civic pride, enhance the look of the area and promote social inclusion.
There could be spin-off benefits too in terms of tourism and bringing visitors to our leisure facilities.