27 November 2016:

Plans have been drawn up to transform an abandoned waterway into an oasis in Belfast.

The Springfield Dam in West Belfast has been earmarked for a major overhaul which could see features created including purpose built walkways, a “reconfiguration” of an existing play park, an amphitheatre for outdoor performances and even manmade islands in the middle of the former mill pond at the centre of the site.

The cheaper option 1 plan to create the “positive public open space”, costed at around £450,000, envisages that “proposed paths will provide for circulation between the Dam and Springfield Park and also link into proposed new entrances into the site”.

Other elements include “proposed recreational facilities” like a “modular building” which will be “flexible to facilitate nature learning, water safety training and potential use by local activity groups”. Fishing stands and the activity trail are also in the pipeline under option 1.

The more ambitious option 2 plans, costed at around £1.2 million, include a “key design feature” which is a stage and amphitheatre “which would link Springfield Park and the Dam”.

Other features include picnic benches, boardwalks that “would increase access to the water edge and facilitate nature learning and pond dipping etc” as well as “floating islands [that] would create additional habitats and also add interest to the Dam”.

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Springfield Dam

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