Council says plan is intact and still viable

Council says plan is intact and still viable

17 May 2017

THE Masterplan has not been downgraded according to Newry, Mourne and Down Council.

In a statement issued in response to the united political condemnation it was claimed the council has drawn up an action plan that prioritises projects that could be realistically achieved by the end of the 2019/20 financial year.

The statement said the Action Plan identified internal projects the council could progress and external projects that were the responsibility of other agencies to deliver.

“The Action Plans are all derived from the Masterplan and provide a road map for the council to plan activity up to 2019/20 by way of project planning of staff time, allocation of financial resources against other of the council’s competing priorities and provide an opportunity to source external funding for specific projects,” said the statement.

“The Action Plans do not replace the Masterplans and should be read as an addendum to them. The Action Plan for Downpatrick, as agreed by the council in 2017, refers to link roads, decentralisation of public sector jobs, park development, transportation and parking.  

“The Council continually reviews the Masterplans and where an opportunity to work with either a developer or another public body arises, this opportunity will be realised,” added he council statement. 

“What was presented to the Downpatrick DEA Forum in May 2017 was an update on the key work against projects in the Plan. Details were included on projects where there has been tangible progress, for example, planning has been submitted for a major public realm scheme in Irish Street.

“A feasibility study on the development of a hotel in Downpatrick has been completed and work is progressing to advance this project.  The Council is also exploring how it can work in partnership with the various public sector stakeholders to advance the regeneration of the former PSNI site in Downpatrick.

“However, given the nature of regeneration work, engagements take place with potential project promoters that cannot be publicly shared due to commercial sensitivity. A number of these meetings have taken place in relation to retail and other development projects in Downpatrick.”