PROPOSED UPGRADE OF LOUGHTAGALLA PARK – SUPPORTED BY SICAP UNDER THEIR EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES ACTION
North Tipperary Development Company under their Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme in conjunction with Loughtagalla Park & Residents Committee came together in 2018 to develop a 3–5-year plan. The first objective of this plan is to upgrade the facilities of their local park. The main purpose of which is to develop people and child friendly facilities, considering all age groups and in particular children and young people with intellectual, sensory, and special needs as well as the social needs of older people.
North Tipperary Development Company engaged the services of Ron de Brun of Silva Build Cork, to develop a set of Concept drawings for the upgrade of the park. To progress, NTDC SICAP decided to carry out a survey in July 2019 to get community agreement on the key priorities for the Loughtagalla area.
The survey findings identified clearly that the community very much welcomed the proposal to develop the park, which visualized a mixture of active and passive recreation areas, areas for quiet contemplation and more robust play, enhanced play equipment for younger children. The provision of a sensory garden was supported to address issues of social inclusion and provide the first such garden for Thurles and its hinterland. The use of a modern form of design in the provision of equipment developed around the theme of biodiversity was another highly preferred option. All these ideas were considered to progress the design to the next stage.
Work continued behind the scenes by a dedicated subgroup to progress to the next stage, seeking planning permission for the development. Planning application was prepared and submitted in late summer 2020 to Tipperary County Council and permission was granted in late autumn of 2020. During early 2021 a lot of work took place to prepare for a Request for Tender which was advertised on E- Tenders which is the Irish Government’s electronic tendering platform administered by the Office of Government Procurement. Concurrently the steering subgroup also assisted with material for a promotional video which was funded by the North Tipperary Development Company and co-ordinated by their SICAP Worker. The video completed in July 2021 will be used to support the Loughtagalla Park & Residents Committee fundraising activities to source the e local contribution of €40,000.00.