Losing high school site ‘would be a tragedy’

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Maghera residents are being urged to act this week to have their voices heard over Mid Ulster Council’s proposed plan to redevelop the former high school site into an industrial park.

The council’s consultation period draws to a close, on September 19, Maghera Park Action Group is urging the public to respond and have their say “to save this wonderful site for the shared use of all the town.”

A spokesperson or the group said: “The Tobermore Road site has been consistently enjoyed as a park and recreation area for generations and the consultation represents an opportunity to let the Council know the residents wish to keep ownership of the area to provide support for the health and well-being of the entire Town; a destination for all our Primary School pupils; shared space for all our growing families and a place to stay connected with the community for all our senior residents.

“Good quality town-parks enhance quality of life. Parks provide a focal point and shared space for communities, a place for relaxation or recreation, and the opportunity to experience nature within a short walk from your home and losing this last opportunity site would be a tragedy for Maghera.

“We welcome investment and economic development in the Town but believe there are other options which do not require the loss of publicly-owned land of such huge ecological and public amenity value. The council’s proposed industrialisation would have a devastating impact for Maghera’s natural heritage.

Representing the community’s voice to oppose industrialisation and advocate for the reuse of the Former Maghera High School site as a public park instead, the Action Group have organised an open day at the Link Centre on Thursday September 13, before the consultation closes. Volunteers will be on hand from 3-8pm to provide information and advice with help with both written and computer-based options.