The DUP member of parliament for East Londonderry has backed the preservation of Barry’s Amusements as a leisure attraction, stating enhancement of the Portrush landmark is “by far the preferred outcome.”
Gregory Campbell made the statement amid growing local opposition to plans that could see the 96-year-old park sold to developers and flattened to make way for a 120-room hotel, or 23 new homes.
“There is very strong community interest in the retention of this unique landmark facility as a significant entertainment centre, that has helped to bring tens of thousands of tourists to the Causeway Coast for generations,” said Campbell.
“The ultimate decision quite rightly is for the present owners to make. The wider community can assist in expressing their opinions to all involved their very strong preference for the retention and enhancement of the going concern that is Barry’s.”
Local residents have already started a petition against the scheme, which has gathered over 8,500 signatures, including that of First Minister Arlene Foster.
Despite Economy Minister Diane Dodds noting the issue was a “commercial decision” for the owners and potential buyers to consider, Campbell urged unity in calling for the iconic attraction to be preserved.
“I trust that a range of political and business interests can join together in demonstrating our view that enhancement of the existing facility is by far the preferred outcome.”