A vision for the future development of Greenisland under the new council was heard last week during the launch of the masterplan for the area.
The event, which took place at Greenisland Football Club on Thursday, provided visitors with an update on how the development framework will be delivered under the Mid and East Antrim (MEA) authority.
The year ahead will see us developing to a ‘spade-ready’ positionAnne Donaghy
The timing of the launch was appropriate due to the winding up of Carrickfergus Borough Council this week, said MEA chief executive Anne Donaghy.
“It’s absolutely right and proper that Greenisland should have a masterplan after all these years. It’s very clear through the document what people want, and that’s a very good start for the new council,” Mrs Donaghy said. “It won’t be easy; there will be many financial challenges but we will fight for every penny.”
Plans are already underway for the first meeting of the new steering group, which includes five MEA councillors. “There is no point in launching this and then letting the summer pass; there is a commitment and we want to try and get all of [the steering group] meeting in April,” Mrs Donaghy added.
“Councillors pushed to get money into the new council this year because we want to be able to start this. The year ahead will see us developing to a ‘spade-ready’ position.
“People want to see something on the ground and we’re starting to look at the hub in the centre of Greenisland and the walkway to Knockagh.”
Thanking URS consultancy group for their work in producing the plan was Sheila McClelland, outgoing chief executive of Carrick Council. “During the past year, the framework has generated a lot of interest in the Greenisland area, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took the time to give their views,” she said.
Outlining the action plan for the village over the next 15 years was Una Somerville of URS (now known as Aecom).
“Many of the projects are tied into the theme of ‘from the Lough to Knockagh’,” Ms Somerville said.
“The highest priority projects are all subject to funding, detailed economic appraisals, ownership agreements with the different people involved, but the top three are Glassillan hub; there needs to be a reinvigorated heart to Greenisland.
“The train station improvements and Knockagh county park were also held up as being very important.”