Regeneration plan to go-ahead in Gilford

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A plan to redevelop part of the riverbank in Gilford has been recommended for approval.

The riverside regeneration scheme will include a new footpath, seating, decks, jetties, interpretation panels, lighting, fencing and railing, bins, lifebuoys and landscaping.

The site is between the River Bann and the backs of properties in Mill Street and Dunbarton Street, and is close to the old mill.

The lower half of the site is currently a riverside park, linked by an existing bridge to Stramore Park, while the rest of the site is largely overgrown riverbank.

The project is being developed by ABC Council and has been designed “to create an attractive riverside recreational space”.

According to a planning officer, the proposed scheme will be accessible to cyclists, pedestrians and people with disabilities.

It will also benefit those involved in a range of water sports and local tourism.

The plan was due to be approved by the council’s planning and regulatory services committee on Wednesday.

Local DUP MLA Sydney Anderson has welcomed the news.

Mr Anderson said: “I am aware that the ABC Council Planning and Regulatory Services Committee have granted planning approval for a Riverside Regeneration Project to be conducted along the Bann River in Gilford.

“Ultimately, this scheme is seeking to create an attractive riverside recreational space making full use of high-quality design and materials that will complement the character and appearance of the Gilford area.”

Mr. Anderson continued: “The approval of this scheme is positive news for Gilford because it will improve and expand an existing recreational facility that will provide amenity benefits to the local residents and it will also complement existing land uses aiding accessibility to the centre of Gilford, residential areas and other nearby recreational facilities.

“On top of this the provision of lighting, safety railings and lifebuoys will help to promote public safety.”

Chairman of Gilford Concerned Residents Group Mr. Timothy Mayes said: “It is good to hear that this Riverside Regeneration Project in Gilford has received the necessary planning approval and I am hopeful that work to carry out these improvements will commence as soon as possible.

“It is always positive to hear of improvement works being carried out in our village and I know that local residents will make full use of the additional amenities being provided by this scheme.”