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was planned as a 'New City' for Northern Ireland that would mirror
cities such as Milton Keynes in Great Britain. It was conceived
as a linear city that would link the towns of Lurgan and Portadown
to create a single urban area and identity. The argument for a new
town was based on projections indicating population increases over
the following decades that would require large scale house building.
Similar projects had been successfully completed in Great Britain
so it was in some ways a symbol of Northern Ireland as both modern
and a part of British mainstream.
Several reasons have been suggested for the suitability of the site
including the existing population centres, industrial base, proximity
to Belfast and the belief that Craigavon would help spread development
away from Belfast. It was hoped that residents of Belfast would
be attracted by the suburban nature of Craigavon’s design
and that business would see it as an interesting alternative. Cash
incentives were offered to some families moving to Craigavon.
M1 motorway (Northern Ireland) was constructed to link the new city
with Belfast and there were plans to replace the Lurgan and Portadown
Railway Stations with a single high speed terminal in central Craigavon.
The Craigavon Area Hospital was built to replace small hospitals
in the local towns.
Critics have suggested that Derry would have been the better location
and that North Armagh was chosen in order to maintain a Protestant
majority in areas east of the River Bann.
The design of Craigavon was imbued with the spirit of the age. The
planners separated motor vehicles from pedestrians and cyclists
wherever possible, creating a dedicated network of paths allowing
residents to travel across Craigavon without encountering traffic.
The road network for motor vehicles used roundabouts instead of
traffic lights at junctions, giving the planners the ability to
easily increase the number of lanes if it became necessary. Electricity
and other cables were placed underground and street lighting was
The planners clustered the housing developments around small ‘village
centres’ with associated retail space, leisure facilities,
post offices, primary schools, pharmacies, community centres and
other civic amenities. There was a total separation of industrial
land-use from all other uses. All estates were built with security
concerns in mind, with one vehicle entry/exit point.
Craigavon was designed to be a very child-friendly environment with
small playgrounds dotted throughout the residential areas. There
was an emphasis on providing green space in the housing estates
and safe paths to cycle on. The new town was also provided with
many civic amenities including a leisure centre, libraries, shopping
centre, civic centre, a large park with artificial lakes, playing
fields, a petting zoo, public gardens and an artificial ski slope.
Locations in Northern Ireland / Ireland that we cover:
Derry / Londonderry Donaghadee
Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown , South Dublin, Wicklow,
Wexford, Carlow, Kildare, Meath, Louth, Monaghan, Cavan, Longford,
Westmeath, Offaly, Laois, Kilkenny, Waterford City , Waterford,
Cork City, Kerry, Limerick City, Tipperary, Clare, Galway, Mayo,
Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal