Link road plan moves a step closer

The proposed new road would link the M1 at Sprucefield to the  Knockmore Road/Moira Road junction. Pic by Google
The proposed new road would link the M1 at Sprucefield to the Knockmore Road/Moira Road junction. Pic by Google

New plans have been unveiled for the construction of a long-awaited link road between the M1 motorway at Sprucefield and Knockmore Road, Lisburn.

The firm behind the plans, Dungannon-based Neptune Carleton LLP, has also submitted a proposal of application notice for outline planning permission for a mixed use development, including 1,300 new homes, on a 56.6 hectare site at Blaris.

The company’s proposal of application notice for full planning permission for the 1.6km M1-Knockmore link road includes proposals for associated riverside parkland and ancillary works on a 17.6 hectare site between the existing M1/A101 roundabout and Moira/Knockmore Road junction.

Two public information sessions publicising details of the plans are due to take place at the Premier Inn, Hillsborough Road on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 September, 3pm - 8pm each day.

It’s understood the owners of neighbouring properties at Blaris Road, Carlton House, Priests Lane, Moira Road and Millars Ford have been notified about the proposed development by way of a leaflet drop.

Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has welcomed Neptune’s plans, saying they will “help Lisburn realise its potential”.

“I am delighted that Neptune have presented their plans for the proposed new Knockmore link road. This is a vital piece of infrastructure for Lisburn that will connect the A1 and M1 at Sprucefield with the main industrial and commercial area of the city at Knockmore Hill and Moira Road and open up some 600 acres for development. The Knockmore link will mean motorists can travel directly from the A1/M1 to the Lisburn north feeder road, thus taking some of the pressure off the M1 at peak traffic times and easing congestion at Sprucefield. There is also the potential for a future connection via an upgraded Blaris Road onto the Maze regeneration site.”

The DUP man continued: “The opportunities that this proposal will generate are enormous and will create significant employment and generate major investment in our local economy. The proposals should include both residential and commercial development and this will see a significant expansion for Lisburn city, including new schools, factories, leisure and recreational facilities and hundreds of new homes. This will help Lisburn to realise its potential as a growing city and I am working closely with the council to ensure the new road project is taken forward as a matter of priority.”

Welcoming the plans as “a very important step” towards delivery of the long-awaited link road, UUP Councillor Alexander Redpath said: “This planning application will have an enormous impact on huge areas of the city and I would like to encourage members of the public to fully engage in the scheme.

“The Knockmore link road is a key priority for the council’s Capital Projects Committee and I have used my position on the committee to raise a number of concerns which I hope will improve the proposal. One such concern is the signalisation of junctions further up the Knockmore Road, at Ballinderry Road and other major junctions. The Department for Infrastructure must ensure these works are carried out by the relevant developers before the Knockmore link road brings significantly more traffic down that route.”

Describing the proposed link road as “a key piece of infrastructure”, Cllr Redpath added: “When delivered, this new road will significantly improve access to the motorway from west Lisburn and reduce pressure on the city centre, Union Bridge and the Saintfield Road roundabout. It is a key piece of infrastructure which will assist Lisburn reaching its full potential.”