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Local people urged to have their say on public realm scheme plans

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Local people urged to have their say on public realm scheme plans thumbnailStrabane town centre is set to undergo a major revamp as part of a multi-million pound public realm scheme.

A FOUR-week consultation has opened on a multi-million pound public realm scheme which is set to transform Strabane town centre.

The scheme, which has been devised by Derry City and Strabane District Council in conjunction with consultants RPS, will see the areas of Abercorn Square, Upper Main Street, Derry Road, Market Street and Railway Street, undergo a huge revamp.

The cost of the ambitious scheme is expected to come in at an estimated £4million and is one of the council's key capital projects. The Department for Communities (DfC) is a project partner.

The plans came before a meeting of the council's Environment and Regeneration Committee on Wednesday last with members endorsing the scheme.

The project, initiated under the former Strabane District Council, will see environmental improvements such as resurfacing of existing footways with natural stone and concrete block paving, replacement of existing concrete kerbs with natural stone kerbs, the relocation of the bus stop and taxi rank from Abercorn Square; upgrading of street furniture, replacement of existing toilet block and planting of semi-mature trees.

There will also be road/junction realignments and alterations to existing parking facilities.

The council has already lodged a 'Proposal of Application Notice' for the scheme. Strabane Sinn Féin councillor, Brian McMahon, says the scheme represents the biggest shake-up of the area in decades.

"I very much welcome the lodging of this planning application notice by council. The major public realm scheme as proposed and detailed in this application represents a golden opportunity to transform both the physical and visual amenity of a large area of the town centre, which has not benefitted thus far from previous public realm upgrade work, and in doing so make the entire town centre area more user friendly and visually attractive for both the local community and visitors alike.

"The planning application will now be subject to pre-application community consultation as well as wider public consultation events with a full planning application scheduled to be submitted mid-August with full planning complete October 2017."

Local people are being urged to have their say on the huge development. A public consultation event to discuss the proposed scheme has been pencilled in for Thursday, May 25, from 110am until 8pm in Strabane Library.

An un-manned display has also gone on display at Strabane Library with feedback forms available to allow people to put forward their views.

"I would encourage as wide an engagement as possible with the pending consultation so that everyone can have their say on this new vision for Strabane town centre in partnership with council and the Department for Communities," Cllr McMahon added.

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