ECOS area upgrade will mean pathway diversions

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

Diversions will be in place along pathways through the ECOS park in Ballymena over the coming weeks to allow for the next stage of major investment works in the area.

Access along the main path connecting Kernohans Lane to Suffolk Street will be affected for at least the next three months, pending review.

Health and safety considerations will mean the temporary closure of some sections of the popular access route during the construction of the new St Patrick’s Barracks access road, as part of the multi-million pound redevelopment of the site.

A Council spokesperson said: “We know just how much inconvenience this will cause some of our residents and we apologise for that.

“We would ask for patience and understanding during this time.

“Sections of the pathway will have to be closed off at different times due to health and safety advice, and we hope residents appreciate that their health and wellbeing will always be our top priority.

“We promise to keep our residents fully up to date on the progress of the works in the area, and we will reopen the pathways fully as soon as possible.”

A diversion will be in place between Kernohans Lane and Suffolk Street from 23 May 2022. Signage will be in place in the area.

A dedicated webpage has been set up by Council which will carry the latest updates on the pathway access. It can be found at www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/EcosClosure.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, along with a number of key strategic partners, is aiming to deliver a high-quality regeneration scheme at the nearby St Patrick’s site.

The project, led by the Department for Communities, will transform the area, helping to create wider economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits across the Borough.

Outline planning permission for the redevelopment of the site was granted back in 2019.

This gave the green light for the land to be used for the creation of a shared, mixed-use, housing-led regeneration scheme supported by infrastructure, including a new road, footpaths and cycle ways.

Council’s plans include a new Leisure, Health and Wellbeing Centre and an Innovation Centre. Both will serve as a future hub for a Smart and sustainable district at St Patrick’s.

The themes from the previous consultation, along with the principles embedded within the outline planning approval, have also been used as a baseline for developing design proposals for the public realm, recreational areas, office building, civic event space, and a pedestrian and cycle bridge across to Ecos Nature Park.

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