£1.3 million scheme at Lodge Burn in town

ANDERSON Park in Coleraine is to re-developed again.

At last Tuesday’s Leisure and Environment meeting, councillors heard about an alleviation scheme at Lodge Burn between Bridge Street and Brook Street (pictured above).

The project, by the Rivers Agency with engineers Atkins Limited and contractors McLaughlin and Harvey, will cost in the region of £1.3million.

The scheme, which started last week, will improve the river channel and replace culverts at Coleraine Leisure Centre.

To reduce flood risk the Brook Street section of the burn will be reinforced with concrete walls and an existing sewer pipe will be removed.

At Anderson Park the natural river channel through the park will be restored to help prevent flooding, and a new off line pond will also be developed.

Most members welcomed the scheme, however many were concerned about further re-development of the park, given that Council spent a substantial amount of money modernising the area a few years ago.

DUP councillor Timothy Deans said: “We spent £1.5 million on this park a few years ago.

“We should have had a fountain in the pond, but it never worked, we’re now going back to the original design. I really don’t feel that our ratepayers are getting value for money.”

Other members were concerned about work being carried out throughout the summer at Anderson Park, a time when the park is busiest.

Julie Templeton, an engineer on the project told the meeting that due to ‘flow management it was easier to carry out the work throughout the summer months when the water levels would be lower.

The Mayor, UUP councillor Norman Hillis praised the scheme saying that it will be ‘an asset’ to Coleraine.

Committee Chairman, DUP councillor Maurice Bradley agreed describing it as an ‘exciting project’.

Other councillors raised concerns about the offline pond planned for the park, as water will have to be pumped into the area. Many felt that at times the pond would be empty and left lying as a ‘mud bed’.

Project Manager Stephen Orr recognised the concerns of some members and said that this could be looked at closer to the time.