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Peace Walls Programme Update, December 14

16th December 2014

Work on SRRP Now Complete

We have been busy over the last few months and are pleased to announce we have now completed capital works at the SRRP site! The new fencing and street lighting at the rear of the building has created a welcoming and safer environment from the Suffolk side, and the new landscaped garden area on the interface beside Oasis Day-care centre is more attractive and designed to prevent anti-social behaviour.

River Path Site Begun

Now that work on the SRRP site is complete, work has begun in earnest on the next site – the Colin Glen River Path running along the border of Suffolk. Door-to-door consultation along the affected-streets were completed in October and we received very supportive and directional feedback, allowing us to plan the work knowing we are in keeping with the residents’ wishes. Since then, NIHE have agreed to complete the first phase of site work and it has now begun with rapid progress. The old, ugly fencing has been replaced by more attractive and vibrant paladin fencing. The pasthways ahve also been replaced. This work is expected to be complete by the end of November. We are also discussing options around replacing the fencing around homes and pathways which are currently managed by Belfast City Council – we hope to begin work on this early in the New Year.

We are holding a Family Fun day at the River Path site in March and hope for a good turn out to allow people to see the completed work and take part in various fun workshops which will include nature trails, woodcraft workshops, bird watching, bat trail, orienteering, archery, face painting, healthy cooking, grow your own and other activities to be confirmed. This will give people the opportunity to come together and get to know one another and see the improvements that have been made at the site.

We are now moving on to developing consultation plans for the next Peace Walls Programme sites and would be aiming to start consultations at the next sites in the New Year.

Long Term Plans for the Peace Walls Programme

We have also been working towards developing a long term plan for the programme, and in order to progress this we recently facilitated a residential attended by all relevant statutory agencies, PSNI, and SLIG Management Committee. We examined how the Peace Walls Programme can assist with the regeneration and restructuring of all the Peace Walls Sites and derelict site in the area in a positive way to create more safe and open environments. This will help the programme to focus more on ways to create a long term and meaningful plan where changes can happen, not only in the short term, but larger scale projects and regeneration of the sites can be put into place to bring greater benefit to the wider communities involved.

Derelict House

The two houses at Carnanmore Park that sit on the Stewartstown Road had become an eyesore and also had become very unstable and unsecure. Over the last year young people have been using them as a den and it was becoming a real issue for residents living near them, who raised their concerns with the property owners on a number of occasions. The property owners are now working with Belfast City Council on a plan for the site. Due to the state of extreme dereliction, it was decided to demolish the houses; this dealt not only with the healthy and safety risks posed by them, but also with the anti-social behaviour around the site and environmental issues caused by people dumping waste there. The demolition began in late October and the site is cleared of all rubble and rubbish. There have been no issues raised since the properties were demolished.

Derry/ Londonderry Peace Walls Tour

On the 5th December 2014, the Peace Walls Programme took a group to visit the Fountain Estate in Derry/ Londonderry, the Derry Walls and the Bogside, to look at the different changes that have been happening through the Peace Walls Programme there and to have a Christmas Lunch. This was attended by residents from Suffolk and Lenadoon and also our local PSNI Neighbourhood officers. It was an extremely interesting visit and a great learning opportunity for the group to see how other areas have made small changes to their Peace Walls and worked with their communities through different consultation methods. We looked at the history of the Peace Walls in the area and how the walls have created a boundary and become a landmark and tourist attraction for people to visit on a daily basis.

For more information, simply contact:

Suzanne Lavery
Tel: 028 9062 9146