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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

ANBCouncil agree £310k refurbishment plan for Cranfield Jetty in Randalstown

Antrim and Newtownabbey councillors have agreed a £310k refurbishment plan for Cranfield Jetty in Randalstown in a bid to retain its tourism potential.

Cranfield Jetty is closed at present due to health and safety concerns.

It was agreed at a meeting of the council’s Community Planning Committee meeting last week to replace the concrete slipway, refurbish part of the jetty and install a floating pontoon linked to the refurbished jetty with a galvanised walkway.

Alternatives including a £420k option of replacing the entire wooden jetty and the concrete slipway were ruled out due to cost and shorter lifespan.

Deck boards on the jetty have deteriorated and are cracking. Corrosion has been identified throughout the jetty structure. The adjacent slipway is cracked in multiple locations which has created “hazardous voids”, a report to council stated previously.

A study completed by the Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) (Inland Waterways) has recommended the improvement and enhancement of infrastructure on Lough Neagh.

The report noted Lough Neagh Rescue has used Cranfield Jetty for training, and in case of emergency, the jetty has been used as a primary and secondary landing emergency facility.

It has also been included as part of a HM Coastguard emergency procedure for aircraft landings on the lough.

Complete removal of the jetty is estimated at £27,000.

Councillors have been advised: “The absence of the jetty would significantly detract from the site as a local recreational node and restrict opportunity to develop Lough Neagh as a tourism product.

“Given the strategic tourism significance and local importance of access to the water, a full replacement of the jetty and repair of the slipway is to be considered the most satisfactory option for the longer-term.”

Speaking at the meeting, Antrim DUP Councillor Paul Dunlop BEM said he welcomed the idea of the floating platoon, something which he believes is needed at the lough shore in Antrim.


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