A FOOTPATH which has long been the scourge of residents, business owners and shoppers in Whiteabbey could be improved and widened in the new year, the Times can reveal.
Business owners and shoppers have told the Times the footpath opposite the car park and beside the taxi depot in the village, has for a long time been a cause for complaint.
They have said it is too narrow and because it is damaged it could pose a potential risk to injury.
After a property developer demolished two homes which ran along the stretch of pavement, calls have been made for the footpath to be widened and improved.
One business owner told the Times: “It is so narrow that to pass anyone on the pavement someone has to go on the road, but it has always been like that.
“But it is damaged now and my concern is that someone will hurt themselves on it if they are not careful.
“Plus with it being right in the middle of the village it is an ideal time for the area to be given a bit of a clear-up and improved for everyone’s benefit.
“With this work going on now it is the best time to improve it and bring it up to standard.”
Planning permission has been granted for an apartment complex to be built on the site beside the pavement.
Roads Service has said there is provision in the plans to widen the pavement and once the developer has completed the necessary works the footpath will be adopted and placed into public ownership.
Developer for the site, Maurice Crawford said he hoped the work on the pavement would get underway to enable the footpath to be widened and restored a couple of months into the new year.
“The problems,” he said, “are around the legalities of the issue.
“The plan has gone through planning, the initial enabling work has been carried out and the gable end of the adjoining property has been completed.
“In the short term we are hoping to have the site tidied up with the hope that the footpath can be widened and adopted into public ownership.
“The adoption process can take between three and four months. We are working with someone to try and get that work started and hopefully the footpath will be in place next year.
“Until that time the land will have to remain fenced off.”