A sunny Sunday in Suffolk Park and the Beech Drive park is full of people. It is difficult to find a place to park. A soccer match is in progress. The girls bravely try to control the ball as it bounces across the cow paddock masquerading as a soccer pitch. The skate park is full of kids. The supervising parents sit on the nearby concrete basketball court, as there are no seats or shelter near the skate park. There is rubbish everywhere as there are not enough bins. The bins there are full to overflowing.
Two tennis players are hitting up on the tennis courts. There is variable bounce across both of the tennis courts. The lower court is covered in silt after each heavy downpour, as the courts are located in the lowest part of the park. You are not allowed to play after 7:30pm as the courts are positioned so that the lights shine directly into the adjacent houses. The toilet block next to the courts, when open, is in disrepair.
Yet every time I pass the pristine and magnificent new sporting fields at Ewingsdale they appear deserted. Could this be a case of the shire putting all its eggs into one basket? I hear an upgrade of the Beech Drive park is mooted but why weren’t these facilities provided when the park was originally designed?
Brendan McKenna, Suffolk Park