Work on an environmental improvement scheme on council-owned land opposite Merville Garden Village is nearing completion.
The £30,000 project at Shore Road includes the installation of a new pathway, drainage, planting, seating and bins.
Back in October 2012, the 3.2-acre site had been declared “surplus to requirements” by the council. And with the local authority considering selling part of the land to facilitate a £6million project involving construction of a seven-screen cinema, Merville residents vowed to fight any possible moves to sell off the narrow strip of land for commercial development.
With local householders worried that such a move would have a serious negative impact on residential amenity, the council voted to overturn the original decision and decided that the land should not be put up for sale.
Work on the new path was completed last week, while landscaping and seeding work is due to be finished in March or April.
Macedon councillors Billy Webb (Alliance) and Thomas Hogg (DUP) have welcomed the environmental improvements at the site.
“I warmly welcome the continuation of this work which, when complete, will significantly improve this open green space for the use of the local community,” Alderman Hogg commented.
“It is hard to believe that it is now over two years since we successfully campaigned against the sale and development of this open space. It is thanks to the hard work and tenacity of the Merville Residents’ Association, working in conjunction with local councillors, that this area was protected from unwanted over-development.
“It is my hope that the investment through these environmental improvement works will secure the future of this area as an open green space, as well as a much improved and accessible leisure amenity for local residents to enjoy.”
Welcoming confirmation that work at the site is due to be completed within the next couple of months, Councillor Webb said: “I am delighted this work is nearing completion and I know from those who have contacted me that this project has been welcomed by the local community.
“This land was under threat of being commercially developed and it was thanks to working with Alderman Hogg and Merville Residents’ Association that we succeeded in saving it as open space.”
With the new pathway in place, Cllr Webb has asked council officers to look at the possibility of installing outdoor gym equipment, similar to the pieces at Hazelbank and Loughshore Park, at the site.