The council has given an assurance that disruption will be kept to “an absolute minimum” when work starts on the new public realm scheme in Lisburn city centre.
Work on the £3.7million Lisburn Linkages project, which is being funded by the council and the Department for Communities, is due to commence this summer and complete in 2018.
The announcement that work is to be carried out to improve lighting, pavements and street furniture in several streets around the city centre has been branded “a waste of money” by some members of the public. Others have pointed to the overrun in the previous Market Square/Bow Street public realm scheme and expressed concerns that the latest proposed works could again cause considerable disruption in and around the city centre.
Responding to those concerns, Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of the council’s Development Committee, has reassured local residents that any disruption as a result of the Lisburn Linkages project will be kept to a minimum.
“The council is very aware of ratepayers’ concerns regarding any further disruption in the city centre,” he said. “It would like to assure ratepayers that it is working very closely with all concerned including local businesses and developers to ensure that any disruption is kept to an absolute minimum. To this end, the Lisburn Linkages public realm scheme will be adopting a sectional completion approach, on a street-by-street basis, effectively ensuring that work will not commence in one area before work is completed in another.”
Stressing that the scheduled works are part of an overall plan for the growth of the city, Cllr Mackin continued: “The council would also like to emphasise that this work is not on the same scale as the refurbishment of Bow Street and Market Square and should be completed much more quickly and with substantially less disruption. It will however improve the attractiveness of our streets which connect the city centre, an important element of the overall plan for the growth of our city.
“Reports from businesses have indicated that footfall is increasing in the city centre since completion of the previous scheme and the council is confident that this further upgrading of our streets will enhance future opportunities for our city, with minimum disruption to ratepayers.”
• Read related stories - Minister announces £3.7 million investment for Lisburn city centre and A good investment or just a waste of money?