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It's now a 4-day event and still pulling big numbers in.
It's brilliant...
Went to Balmoral show yesterday and was very impressed by it actually. Very well organised from the free buses to and from Lisburn train station, to the layout of the show itself. It's sure come on leaps and bounds since the old Kings Hall days...

I could see the owners building a motorway junction on the M1 if the Eikon Exhibition Centre expands anymore, certainly if any tourist attraction is built at the former Maze prison. The amount of cars in the carparks was scary. Just huge.

Witnessed the 'brawl' in the bar lol, but I think that was mostly down to the fact far two many farmers where packed into a small bar area and had been drinking in the sun all day. I think they need to spread the bar areas out over the whole park and perhaps even bump up the bar prices.
 

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PAN submitted for Giants Park Development. Website goes live on 1 February for consultation. There will be 3 public webinars, so might be worth signing up for one once details are provided. Dates:

  • 17th February, 10am-12pm
  • 16th March, 5pm-7pm
  • 14th April, 3pm-5pm

Looking through the early documents, there are a number of phases of development. Needless to say, the first phase is the least interesting, but it may be with the expanded film studios in mind.

  • Phase 1: Hotel, fast food outlets and a filling station.
  • Phase 2a: Welcome hub, providing indoor leisure entertainment. Includes 2 civic plazas.
  • Phase 2b: 200 acre outdoor leisure space at the North of the site
  • Phase 2c: Equestrian centre of excellence, located within the leisure space
  • Phase 3: R&D park with 400,000 square foot business space
 

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Wonder whether the 200 acre site will end up being a theme park, as was initially mentioned, or more like an outdoor activity centre? Seen it's currently being named as "Giant's Adventure Park".
 

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From the planning documents, the proposed map of the site.

Hopefully there'll be more detail with the consultation, as, just taking the map as is, the main adventure park consists of a circular walking route around a big field for horse riding.

1073177
 

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Absolutely. A rail halt and pedestrian/bike bridge at Loughview Park seems an obvious candidate as there is already some vacant/derelict land there. Would also then connect up with the North Belfast Greenway to Valley Leisure Centre.
 

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That looks like an absolute Frankenstein's monster of a project. I'd settle for a large well landscaped park rather than attempts to build indoor 'attractions' which will quickly go stale and have almost never been well executed here (correct me if I'm wrong).

The horse section is just bizarre to me, especially as it seems to eat up the entire green space. Feels like a very middle class civil service decision.

Also rumours that the film studios are objecting to the bio-plant thing being built directly opposite them (which I admit doesn't seem like joined up planning at all, would be a shame if that caused them to rethink their expansion).

Is this being overseen by Belfast Harbour? Or is this a Council led project?
 
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