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Plans to extend Public Realm Scheme to Greenvale Street

Rachel McNabb

Reporter:

Rachel McNabb

PLANS are being considered to extend the Public Realm Scheme to Greenvale Street in Ballymena Town Centre.

However, one local business owner who has been based on the street for 20 years, has hit out at the lack of consultation around the proposals.

Claire Brennan of Oasis Hair Salon claims she has had to rely on “hearsay” in a bid to find out more about the plans.

NIE is currently carrying out utility works on the street which is expected to last four weeks.

Claire said: “I have heard that after the four weeks they are planning to rip the entire street up and replace it as part of the Public Realm Scheme. I understand that the work is expected to last right up until Christmas.

“My issue is firstly there has been no consultation, I don't know exactly what they are planning to do.

“We are relying on hearsay at the minute and I have heard that there are plans to lay stone similar to the rest of the town.”

Claire said she had written a letter to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council about the issue.

She continued: “It took ten days to get a reply which said there was “nothing concrete at the minute”.

Claire said that among her concerns was that the area has a very slopping street which raises issues around what type of paving is used.

She added: “Also there are concerns around water flowing down the street due to the slope and the fact that if the paving used is light in colour chewing gum, which will eventually cover it, will turn black and soon make the street look grubby and shabby.”

Claire said she would like to see either the street remain the same and be “brought back to its former glory” or be consulted on any proposed plans.

“We want to have a debate about it, not have to rely on hearsay. I have a sizeable investment in this street and I feel as a business owner I should have a say,” she concluded.

A Mid and East Antrim Council spokesperson said: “Plans are being considered to extend the public realm scheme on this street, however, these are at a very early stage.

“We will be liaising with traders over the coming weeks in relation to initial consultation on concept designs.”

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