Pollock Park & Gibson's Hill Proposal

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Hello andWelcome Introduction Welcome to the virtual Pre-Application Community Consultation (PACC), this website forms part of the Community Consultation in respect of the following 2 no. development proposals, prepared on behalf of Lurgan Rugby, Football and Cricket Club relating to:

1. Relocation of Lurgan RFC & CC from Pollock Park, Lurgan to a new purpose built and state of the art Sports Complex on lands at Gibson’s Hill, located c.175metres east of Gilford Road, adjacent and south east of Nos. 180 and 182 Gilford Road and adjacent and south of No. 164 Gilford Road, Lurgan; and 2. Residential development scheme with children’s equipped play area (LEAP), including parcel of land identified for potential new Community Facility, at Pollock Park, Lower Toberhewny Lane, Lurgan, BT66 8SX. In order to facilitate the development of the new Lurgan RFC & CC facilities at Gibson’s Hill, it is necessary that the existing Pollock Park is redeveloped for c.125 residential dwellings. The site proposals are intrinsically linked, and one is not deliverable without the other. Consultation during COVID-19 In light of the current situation under COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing measures, temporary pre-application community consultation regulations were introduced to ensure the safety of all. The measures encouraged and provided guidance for alternative consultation measures, such as a public virtual event. We are therefore using a number of online, digital, and remote tools to help you provide feedback on our proposals. Purpose of Consultation and Next Steps The purpose of this webpage is to share our indicative proposals with the community and other interested parties, prior to the submission of any subsequent Planning Applications on these separate parcels of land to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council in the coming months. We are committed to engaging with members of the wider community and are now undertaking a period of pre- application community consultation (PACC) on our proposals. The feedback received will be shared with the design team and will help to shape our proposals prior to the submission of a planning application. We will prepare a Pre-Application Community Consultation Report which will provide a summary of all feedback, our response and howwe have incorporated any appropriate feedback into the final proposals for the scheme. This report will be submitted as part of the evidence base for any subsequent Planning Application on these lands to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council. How to provide feedback and find out more: Our Website - www.lurganrugbyendeavour.co.uk This website is a one-stop-shop for all information on our proposals. Through this website you can browse our plans, view information documents, and complete an online feedback form. Alternatively, if you live adjacent to the subject lands and have received a hard copy notification leaflet, you can fill out and return the attached comment card to us using the pre-addressed envelope provided. Should you have any queries regarding the proposals please feel free to contact our project team using the below details. Speak to Us Our project team is availableMonday-Friday 9am-5pm to discuss the proposals or respond to any queries youmay have. Contact: TSA Planning Tel: 02890434333 Email: info@tsaplanning.co.uk Closing date for feedback – Friday 9th July 2021, 5pm

History of Lurgan RFC and Cricket Club Lurgan RFC was formed in 1880 and is one of the oldest rugby clubs in Ireland. The Club has Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) status. The existing grounds are known as Pollock Park, named after Mr Trevor Pollock, the Club’s first Patron who was one of those involved in the re-formation of the Club after bothWW1 andWW2. In 1922 Lurgan Cricket Club was formed by the amalgamation of Brownlow and Lurgan YMCA Cricket Clubs. The inaugural President was H C Malcolm, and Leo Donnelly was the first Captain. Until that time Brownlow had played on the ground in Lurgan Park, beside which the Jubilee Fountain now stands, and the YMCA Club had used a field behind Brownlow House. The newly formed club moved to the pitch in the centre of Lurgan Park, where they laid a square and built a wooden pavilion and continued to play (except for a short break) till they joined with Lurgan Rugby Football Club and moved to Pollock Park in 1975. Pollock Park is recognised as one of the top grounds in Armagh and Irish Cricket, with many visiting players commenting favourably on the quality of the wicket. A brief overview of the current functions of the club, including the rugby, cricket team offering, and community outreach initiatives, is set out below. Rugby • The Senior Rugby division currently has two teams in the Ulster leagues. The 1st XV play in Qualifying 2 having been promoted for the 2018 – 2019 season. The 2nd XV are sitting in the top third of their league. Due to the increase in senior player numbers Lurgan RFC are intending to reform a 3rd XV. • The club also have an U20’s team and a youth section known as Lurgan Tigers, who have also enjoyed recent success. The Club have 28 primary schools within its catchment area which equates to 6,500 potential rugby players. There are also 8 high schools and colleges within the catchment area equating to another 6,000 potential rugby players. • In 2005 a Tag-Rugby teamwas introduced, made up of males and females, who won the first division championship in Ulster which led to the team being invited to compete in the All-Ireland finals in Dublin, where they acquitted themselves with distinction. Cricket • Lurgan Ladies won the League and Cup double 2 seasons in a row. The Ladies team completed a league and cup double winning the NCUWomen’s Premier League undefeated and beating North Down in an exciting final to win the Challenge Cup. • For many years the club has had a very positive youth policy. Under an excellent Professional, and with the help of past and senior teammembers, the club has been able to produce players of quality with bat and ball, some of whom have gone to represent Ireland at International level. Cross Community • Throughout the years Lurgan has been a cross-community Club with players from all sections of the community represented in its teams. There has also been a significant Gaelic Football influence at the Club, some players having enjoyed considerable success in both codes. • For a number of years, the highlight of pre-season training was a Rugby/Gaelic match. This match was formalised with the introduction of the Silverwood Cup, played for annually between Lurgan and St. Patrick’s GFC, Magheralin. • Due to the lack of resources at Pollock Park, this fixture has fallen into abeyance in recent years. However the club hopes to revive the fixture in the near future through the development proposals. • The Club have been recipients of PEACE IV Grant money in conjunction with the local St Peters and Eire Og GAA Clubs. A Game of Two Halves (Rugby & Gaelic Football) initiative was well publicised including UTV Life appearance supported by Club Officials with St Peters GAC Officials and Ulster Rugby and Armagh GAA players. Both governing bodies are supporting the Clubs Community Outreach programme with over 400 youth players and coaches taking part in this event.

Strategic Context The existing Lurgan RFC Grounds at Pollock Park are located to the southern periphery of Lurgan, as shown at Figure 1. The alternative site on Gilford Road, which has been identified for the new Clubhouse and Pitches, is located less than 1 mile to the south of Pollock Park. and falls outside of the development limits of both Craigavon Urban Area and Gibson’s Hill. From a strategic context perspective, it is important that the club remains as readily accessible to its existing catchment and support base, but due to lack of space for expansion and modernisation at Pollock Park there is now the opportunity to widen the catchment area for the club so that it becomes accessible to communities within wider area.

Figure 1 – Site Context

Local Context The existing Pollock Park Complex is located at Lower Toberhewny Lane, see Figure 2 . The northern boundary of Pollock Park backs onto housing at Pollock Drive, with the southern boundary backing onto housing at Franklyn Park and a small patch of undeveloped ground. The eastern boundary abuts a mix of residential properties and some commercial premises fronting onto Gilford Road. Pollock Park is bound on all sides by existing development which constrains any opportunity to develop, improve and expand the existing facilities and infrastructure. This is evidenced by the previous planning history of the club whereby planning permission was sought for floodlighting to facilitate evening training, which was subsequently withdrawn as a result of issues relating to the impact on adjacent residential amenity. This has meant that the club facilities have been unable to keep up with the growth in membership and activities. The subject lands for relocation of the Club fall to the east of Gibson’s Hill, as shown at Figure 3 , and currently comprise 2 no. agricultural fields which are separated by a hedgerow. The proposed site sits adjacent to an existing cluster of residential properties at 164-186 Gilford Road to the north, and new housing development at

Figure 2 – Pollock Park Site Location

Figure 3 – Gibson’s Hill Site Location

Area Plan Context The Craigavon Area Plan 2010 was adopted in August 2004, and includes a settlement hierarchy for the area which is set out within ‘Policy SETT 1 – Settlement Limit’. The Plan identifies Lurgan as part of the ‘Craigavon Urban Area’ (comprising Craigavon, Lurgan and Portadown), and Gibson’s Hill is listed as a ‘smaller settlement’. The 2 no. development sites are reviewed in more detail below. Pollock Park As previously noted, Pollock Park is located within the development limit of ‘Craigavon Urban Area’ and identified as unzoned ‘whiteland’ within the Area Plan, as shown at Figure 4 . The site is surrounded by existing development on all sides, with lands to the south west and south east of the site zoned for additional housing through the Plan.

Figure 4 - Pollock Park Area Plan Extract

Gibson’s Hill Site Lands to the east of Gilford Road which have been identified for the new Sports Complex, fall outside of the development limits for both ‘Craigavon Urban Area’ and ‘Gibson’s Hill’ and within the Green Belt, as noted within the Area Plan (see Figure 5 ). It is important to note that Green Belt designations have been superseded through the introduction of ‘PPS 21 – Sustainable Development in the Countryside’, which came into effect in June 2010. ‘Policy CTY 1 – Development in the Countryside’ of PPS 21 lists ‘outdoor sport and recreational uses’ as an acceptable form of development in the countryside which will contribute to the aims of sustainable development in accordance with ‘PPS 8 – Open Space, Sport and Outdoor Recreation’. The intervening field between the site and Gilford Road to the west has been identified as a Local Landscape Policy Area (LLPA).

Figure 5 – Gibson’s Hill Area Plan Extract

Planning History Having undertaken a desktop review of the planning history relating to Pollock Park, the most recent planning applications are set out within the table below.

Planning Reference Address

Description of development


Erection of flood lights to 1st XV playing field.

N/2002/0752/F Pollock Park, Lurgan

Permission Granted

Erection of 4 no. floodlights to facilitate evening training.

N/2009/0695/F Pollock Park, Lurgan


The most recent planning application concerning Pollock Park, submitted by the club in 2009 (Ref: N/2009/0695/F), sought approval for floodlighting to facilitate evening training. This application was subsequently withdrawn as a result of issues relating to the impact on adjacent residential amenity. There is no pertinent planning history relating to the Gibson’s Hill site for use as sports grounds. Disadvantages of Existing Facilities at Pollock Park 1. Poor Existing Clubhouse Provision: • Lack of floodlit pitches to accommodate evening matches and training, which is particularly evident during the longer winter evenings; • Lack of facilities for Women’s and Girl’s Cricket (changing rooms, showers, referees’ room and treatment rooms); • Lack of facilities for Women’s and Girl’s Rugby (changing rooms, showers, referees’ room and treatment rooms); • Lack of facilities for Men and Boys Rugby (changing rooms, showers, referees’ room and treatment rooms); • Lack of proper gym facilities for strengthening and conditioning; • Lack of adequately sized function room(s); and • Lack of Disability Access to club facilities and to playing sport. 2. Impact on Adjacent Residential Amenity: • Insufficient car parking provision which results in on-street parking within the surrounding residential streets, and has attracted complaints from neighbours. • Prone to Anti-Social Behaviour, with numerous recorded incidents of breaking windows and gathering in large numbers etc. • Existing pitches are used by dog walkers during the daytime which results in dog fouling on the playing pitches. 3. Inaccessible to sections of the community: • The club pro-actively engages in community outreach projects, and due to the location and level of facilities currently available this has meant that the Lurgan RFC and Cricket Club facilities have been unable to keep up with the desire to expand and improve cross-community participation.

Redevelopment of Pollock Park for Residential The current sports facilities at Pollock Park are no longer fit for purpose due to growth in club membership over the years. The existing club house and sports pitches at Pollock Park are unable to accommodate the expansion required to facilitate the necessary upgrades. In order to facilitate and help finance the new sports complex at Gibson’s Hill, the proposals involve the redevelopment of the existing Pollock Park site for a residential scheme, which will include the following elements: • Provision of c.125 no. high quality homes in a variety of types and styles to accommodate a range of families. • Proposal includes a pocket of land which has been identified and reserved for a new Community Facility. • Proposed Site Layout will include large areas of Public Open Space and provision of an Equipped Children’s Play Area (LEAP).

Indicative Site Layout for illustration purposes

Redevelopment of Pollock Park for Residential

New Sports Complex at Gibson’s Hill We are proposing to develop a new purpose-built sports complex on lands at Gibson’s Hill, c.175metres east of Gilford Road, adjacent and south east of Nos. 180 and 182 Gilford Road and adjacent and south of No. 164 Gilford Road, Lurgan. A key objective of this new state of the art facility is to be readily accessible to the existing club membership, and also be inclusive and accessible to the wider community. The new proposed Clubhouse and Sports Grounds will address the existing issues and provide more extensive facilities for the local players and community including the following: • Purpose-built Clubhouse. • 2 no. Unlit Training Pitches & 1 no. Floodlit Training Pitch. • 2 no. Full Size Unlit Pitches & 1 no. Full Size Floodlit ‘Firsts’ Pitch. • 1 no. Cricket Wicket (within Pitch). • 140 no. Parking Spaces, Coach Parking/Overflow Car Park. • Landscaping and Green Space.

Indicative Site Layout for illustration purposes

New Sports Complex at Gibson’s Hill

Benefitting the Community The development proposals are intricately linked, one cannot be developed without the other, and together will deliver a number of community and economic benefits as outlined below: • Relocation of Lurgan RFC will benefit the existing residential area which currently backs onto Pollock Park, by removing potential for adverse impacts on amenity such as noise, light, parking congestion, and anti-social behaviour. • Redevelopment of Pollock Park for a residential scheme will help to address ongoing housing need within Lurgan by delivering c.125 high quality family homes, and providing open space including an equipped children’s play area which the local community can avail of. • Identification and provision of land parcel to allow for the development of wider Community Facilities at a later date. • The new state-of-the-art Sports Complex at Gibson’s Hill will be accessible to all existing/future members of the club and will address current deficiencies in terms of promoting an inclusive community, dedicated changing facilities (male/ female), fitness space etc. The additional pitch space will ensure there is no conflict between the cricket playing surface and floodlit pitches. An improved level of parking can also be provided to accommodate major sporting events. • The projects involve the private investment of c.£15m, which will greatly benefit all sections of the community.

Have Your Say Get in Touch Give Us a Call If you would like a member of the team to discuss our proposals over the phone with you, you can call us on 02890434333 Write to Us If you wish to make comments on the proposals, you can also do so in writing by sending a letter to:

TSA Planning 20 May Street Belfast BT1 4NL Complete a Comment Card

Comment Cards, along with a self-addressed envelope, have been delivered to dwellings within the vicinity of the proposal site. These can be filled in and returned as directed. Alternatively, electronic comment cards can be completed here: www.lurganrugbyendeavour.co.uk Closing date for all feedback – Friday 9th July 2021, 5pm

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