New Ballyclare development name agreed after ‘Monopoly board’ row

Antrim and Newtownabbey councillors have managed to reach a decision on a name for a new housing development in Ballyclare after failing to come to an agreement following a “Monopoly board” comment at a previous meeting.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 12:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 5:11 pm

Members of the borough council’s Community Planning Committee agreed on the name of Aikin Square for a 12-dwelling development at Rashee Road, at a meeting on Monday evening.

Previously, Ulster Unionist Councillor Vera McWilliam had proposed the name Marlborough Square. The other suggestions were Merchants Square and Archers Park.

DUP Councillor Jeannie Archibald Brown said that she would urge caution adding: “We do not want to sound like a Monopoly board in Ballyclare.”

She commented that the name and the other suggestions were “like something you would find in London” and that “something a bit more appropriate to the area would be better.” Click here

At the Community Planning Committee, Aikin Square was proposed by Ballyclare Independent Councillor Michael Stewart who said he felt was “appropriate on International Women’s Day”.

A report to the committee explained that Catherine Aikin took over a small fee-paying school in Doagh and moved it to Ballyclare in 1904. She was instrumental in the formation of Ballyclare High School.

Other suggestions put forward by the developer were Richmond Square in respect of Richmond McKay who was said to have been a “very well-known and respected businessman in Ballyclare and lived adjacent to the site for most of his life” and Langhorne Square after Langhorne Clemens which was reportedly the real name of the author Mark Twain who had family links with Ballyclare.

Cllr Stewart’s proposal was seconded by Cllr McWilliam who agreed that Aikin Square would be “very fitting”.

Committee chairman Councillor Mark Cooper joked: “Glad that’s sorted”.

Following online debate today (Tuesday), the spelling Aikin was selected for the new development after previously being listed as Aiken on the committee’s agenda.

A spokesperson for the local authority said: “Members were very pleased to note how fitting the decision was to name the development after a local female pioneer in education on International Women’s Day. Following feedback from the local community, council has taken forward Aikin as the preferred spelling.”

Meanwhile, the name Knockenagh Lane was agreed for a development of 63 new homes in Newtownabbey.

Pinetree Grove will be the name of a social housing development of 26 dwellings at Belfast Road, Antrim.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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