Feedback sought on Greenway proposals

Artist's impression of the proposed greenway from the 2015 Greenisland Development Framework.  INNT 06-721-CON
Artist's impression of the proposed greenway from the 2015 Greenisland Development Framework. INNT 06-721-CON

Mid and East Antrim Council is continuing public consultation around plans for a new cycle and walking path - despite opposition from a neighboring authority.

The proposed Greenisland to Monkstown Greenway was a key feature in a 2015 masterplan aimed at regenerating the Greenisland area.

The proposed route of the Greenway from Greenisland to Monkstown (image sourced from nigreenways.com). INNT 06-720-CON

The proposed route of the Greenway from Greenisland to Monkstown (image sourced from nigreenways.com). INNT 06-720-CON

The project seeks to transform a section of disused railway line into a 2.7km path for cyclists and pedestrians.

A motion to support the scheme, proposed by Knockagh representative Andrew Wilson, was due to be discussed at Monday's meeting of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

However, the motion was withdrawn by Cllr Wilson ahead of tonight's public consultation on the plans.

It comes after Antrim and Newtownabbey councillors last week voiced opposition to the project, indicating they could not support “any proposal to locate the section of the Greenway between Greenisland and Monkstown”.

Speaking as chair of the Greenisland Regeneration Group, Cllr Wilson said: “I am extremely disappointed that Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has already decided to withdraw their support for the Greenisland Greenway.

“I believe this to be premature, but without the two councils working together, this project will simply not happen. I believe strongly in democracy, and therefore want to hear the results of this consultation before determining the best way forward. We take on board all of the feedback provided by citizens, including residents living close to the proposed Greenisland Greenway.

“I remain confident that many of these concerns can be addressed through further consultation and good design, based on the experiences of other successful greenway projects in the UK and Ireland.

“Projects such as this provide citizens with easy access to our area’s spectacular natural environment and built heritage, and ensure both are protected and sustainably managed.

“We appreciate there have been concerns voiced regarding antisocial behaviour, but we are confident that by opening up the area and making it more accessible to our residents, we will actually reduce such risk.

“The creation of greenways in other areas of Northern Ireland, such as the Comber and Connswater Greenways, has proved to be incredibly successful assets to their respective areas.

“Our council remains committed to working with our citizens and colleagues to explore how we can help deliver the Department for Infrastructure’s Greenway Strategy for the good of all, and will be undertaking feasibility studies into other possible greenways in the near future.”

A public information session on the plans will be taking place tonight (Tuesday) from 5-8pm at Greenisland Football Club.