A row has broken out in Downpatrick after DRD Road Service workmen have proceeded to remove a roundabout area in Ardmeen Green. Local residents speaking to Down News explained that they were alarmed at the changes to their road and green area they claimed has taken place without any consultation with them.
The residents were angered that an area of grass on the centre of the roundabout was being removed which had been traditionally a safe play area for children going back to when the NIHE estate was originally built in the early seventies.
Sinn Féin Down District Councillor Liam Johnston who is supporting the local residents said,”This is just a ridiculous waste of public money. The residents who are up in arms have not been consulted and we want to see the area re-instated again.
“Now there is no green space left. Most of the residents here now have actually bought their homes from the NIHE and they are just puzzled why this has happened, especially when there is no real traffic problem.
“Down’s roads are is an bad enough state and these resources should have been used in a more effective way to make improvements to our roads which have taken a battering over the very severe weather.”
A Roads Service spokesperson said, “Roads Service has spoken to representatives and have listened to the residents concerns. We are re-examining the proposal and will be liaising with residents on future action.”
Ardmeen Green resident Tania Cunningham said, “Every single resident in this estate is opposed to this. We will form a petition if we have to make our message clear. My family have lived in Ardmeen Green from 1972 and we are disgusted at the way this has been done.
“Over the years children used to play on the green area in the roundabout, and with a mini-roundabout this area will be a no-go area for them. The green is part of the history and way of life of this small community.
‘It is quite possible that creating more road space will encourage late ride speedsters into the estate which will likely lead to disturbance and even an accident.”