Elements of the Greenisland Masterplan could be delivered within the next few years to ensure ‘early wins’, a consultancy group has said.
Launched last year, the scheme aims to emulate the Carrickfergus and Whitehead masterplans by focusing on the regeneration of the Greenisland area over the next 15 years.
A brief on the development framework for the plan was provided to Carrickfergus Borough Council by consultants URS, who attended last week’s meeting of the Development Services Committee.
A community hub, a ‘greenway’ and improvements to the train station have been identified as the highest priority projects within the scheme as a whole.
The three elements are expected to be delivered within a 0-5 year timescale.
The £8m hub development aims to act as the focal point in the newly-regenerated heart of the village.
The civic complex will serve as the youth and community centre, library, meeting space, Baptist Church and associated services.
Meanwhile, the ‘greenway’ aims to provide a combined walking and cycling path, following the old Greenisland to Monkstown railway line.
The pathway was deemed an “innovative” way of making use of the rail route, which is no longer in use.
It would cost approximately £600k to develop the link between the two areas.
Improvements to Greenisland Train Station were also highlighted by the consultants as a high priority element.
A feasibility study is to be conducted on the relocation of the station building to south of the line, where it could incorporate the station office, retailing and services such as a small shop, cafe or restaurant.
Upgrades to the station tunnel, including widening and better lighting, will aim to create a “friendlier environment”.
The creation of a ‘plaza’ to act as a feature entrance to the tunnel is also mentioned in the plan.
Speaking at last Monday’s meeting, Knockagh Councillor Andrew Wilson queried the possibility of bringing some of the projects forward in one to two years.
“The brief was set up with a vision of 15 years, but it does need to be phased and we do need to have some early wins,” said Una Somerville from URS.