Approval has been granted in principle for a major public realm scheme which will breathe new life into the centre of Glengormley.
The proposed scheme incorporates the area from the Antrim/Ballyclare Road junction to the Antrim Road/Church Way junction, some 16,210 square metres.
The Times understands the works will include public realm, road layout improvements, junctions and car parking. The Scheme will include the provision of green space, upgrading of utilities and the introduction of decorative street lighting, street furniture and artwork.
The projected cost for the scheme is £4M to £4.25M. This includes £540,350 surfacing and street lighting.
These costs do not include land purchase, CCTV provision, major underground services/unforeseen ground conditions, archaeological work, contaminated land, price inflation or VAT.
Approval was granted in principle by elected members at the March meeting of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
Commenting on the scheme, a spokesperson for the local authority said: “The new public realm scheme in Glengormley will seek to create a ‘Place and Destination’ which is both vibrant and pedestrian friendly. It will seek to maintain the traffic flow through the centre but also encourage people to visit and shop, with attractive venues on offer.
“Should the scheme be approved and negotiations and preparatory work commenced in 2017/2018, the scheme could potentially be delivered on site during 2019 and 2020.”
A consultation process on the proposed scheme is now set to commence.
The plans have received cross party support, with the call now being made for the consultation process to commence.
Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Noreen McClelland said: “I welcome the decision to approve ‘in principle.’ I believe Glengormley and its residents will benefit from this initiative. The improvements we’ve seen really enhance the area and I know both businesses and residents are looking forward seeing the scheme completed.”
Describing the move as “a very positive step forward for the area”, Alliance representative, Cllr John Blair said: “For our traders, those who live in the area and those who work in the area, this is very welcome news. I hope all of us in this council from across the DEAs and from across the parties can work together to discuss with the people and push these plans positively and reach agreement, so this great step forward is taken.”
Commenting on the proposals, Ald Mark Cosgrove said: “These proposals have the real potential to completely transform the centre of Glengormley to the benefit of its people and its businesses.
“As with all schemes of this scale, it is only right and proper that we consult fully with residents, businesses and land owners to ensure that this exciting scheme delivers the game changing strategic investment that has been evidently needed for many decades.”
The UUP group leader added: “With the continued increase in Glengormley’s population and our proximity to Belfast, I have long believed that if we can deliver the right town centre environment, we can create a thriving retail centre that will be the envy of similar sized towns throughout Northern Ireland. These proposals and consultations are an important milestone in the transformation process.”