Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

A plan which will have immense significance for the future of Ballymena is just one week away from being opened for public consultation.

Those behind the local development plan characterise its importance as a ‘plan for our children, older people within our community in fact it’s for everybody.’

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is preparing to launch its draft Plan Strategy which sets out a vision and strategic objectives along with strategic planning policies and proposals for how Mid and East Antrim will develop through to 2030.

The Plan Strategy is the first of a two-stage process and will be followed by a Local Policies Plan that will focus on site-specific zonings for housing and other land uses.

Once completed, the Local Development Plan will be used in determining planning decisions and will be key to ensuring sustainable development throughout the borough over the next decade.

The draft Plan Strategy will be launched on Tuesday 17 September.

Members of the public will have four weeks to consider the document before being invited to take part in a consultation process.

This will give citizens the opportunity to share their views and input into the shaping of the blueprint for planning here.

A number of workshops have been planned in the coming weeks for citizens to find out more about the process and discuss any queries or questions they have.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Maureen Morrow, said: “We are delighted to present what is a key step in the development of our Local Development Plan for Mid and East Antrim.

“We have listened to your views on our Preferred Options Paper published two years ago in 2017 and these responses plus further research carried out since then have informed our draft Plan Strategy. We now wish to hear the views of our citizens once again as these are the most important in shaping the Local Development Plan”.

Chair of Council’s Planning Committee, Councillor Robert Logan, said: “This document sets out a plan for our future. As a borough we need to produce a strong and effective plan to really grow this Mid and East Antrim over the next 10 years while at the same time protecting our unique landscape and environment.”

Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Anne Donaghy, said: “Our Elected Members place planning as a key priority and our Council has had the most efficient planning services in Northern Ireland for the past five years.

“Council has developed this draft plan and your role is now crucial to helping to create a borough that supports economic growth and innovation, infrastructure, the right mix of housing, schools and more.

“None of this can be done in isolation and as a borough we need to move forward together, be that on housing, infrastructure or green spaces, so our people have the very best quality of life.

“This plan is not just about us and how we currently live.

“This is a plan for our children, older people within our community - everybody.

“This is a roadmap to create a stronger borough with more employment and improved quality of life within Mid and East Antrim.”

The draft Plan Strategy will be available to view online and in person from Tuesday 17 September 2019 with residents, community groups, developers and statutory partners able to share their feedback with an eight-week public consultation commencing Wednesday 16 October 2019. If you have any questions, or want to find out more, you can attend one of our public meetings or drop-in sessions that are taking place across the Borough in September and October.cYou are also welcome to speak with our Planning Department directly at County Hall, Ballymena from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. Copies of the Draft Plan Strategy will be available to view and download from our website at: www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/LDP

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