Coalisland public realm works move step closer

A PLANNED £2.75 million public realm work scheme in Coalisland has taken another step forward as planning permission has been received for the town’s facelift.

A raft of work in the town centre has been recommended for approval by Mid-Ulster District Council’s Planning Committee.

The extensive work would see the town centre in Coalisland given a major freshen up in its appearance.

Work includes the introduction of what is described as “high quality” natural stone paving, formal parking bays, carriageway resurfacing, street furniture, landscaping, signage, street lighting, festive lighting and drainage.

This will be throughout the town at Main Street, The Square, Dungannon Road, Barrack Street, Lineside, Barrack Square, Stewartstown Road, Station Road and Washingbay Road.

The move represents another move towards delivering the long-awaited realm works in the town.

Formal approval for significant changes to be made to the layout of the town centre as part of the scheme were given the go-ahead by the Council back in June.

The changes would see the introduction of one way traffic throughout Main Street, with formal parking spaces created on each side of the road.

Plans put forward have been welcomed by Sinn Fein and the SDLP, with Councillor Joe O’Neill (SF) and Councillor Malachy Quinn (SDLP) both previously expressing upport for the project.

However, Ramyond O’Neill, Secretary of the Coalisland Traders’ Association, has expressed his dissatisfaction at the plans, stating his belief that “residents and businesses were being left with no voice”.

Mr O’Neill claims the new layout of the town would cause difficulties for access for emergency services and exacerbate school traffic congestion and lead to the closure of businesses on Main Street.

In a survey carried out prior to the commencement of the process, only 55 per cent of respondents stated they agreed with the proposed works, while only 61 per cent expressed support for the introduction of one way traffic on Main Street.

However, Cllr O’Neill has stated that it was “widely viewed” that the one-way traffic introduction was best”.

The plans were to be formally approved by the Council’s Planning Committee last night (Monday).

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