A Mid and East Antrim councillor has called for the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) to “take responsibility” for greenway maintenance as plans for a new pathway between Cullybackey and Galgorm take a step forward.
Speaking at a meeting of the council’s Environment and Economy Committee on Monday evening, Braid DUP Alderman William McCaughey described the proposed greenway as “fantastic” but stessed that there is a “responsibility” on DfI to maintain it.
The cost of completing the walking and cycling path between Galgorm Castle and Cullybackey along the Maine Riverside Path in Ballymena is expected to cost almost £1m.
“There is no point having these greenways if they are not going to maintain them,” stated Cllr McCaughey. He criticised the condition of the greenway alongside the Antrim line where he said there are overgrown hedges and fly-tipping.
John McVeigh, the council’s interim head of finance and capital, said the issue of greenway maintenance would have to be “explored further”.
Larne Lough Alliance Ald Robert Logan asked who has legal responsibility for greenways.
Mr McVeigh indicated the Cullybackey to Galgorm route would involve the borough council and DfI and there are some “private stretches”.
“We would have to enter into discussions about access and maintenance,” he noted.
Funding for the Cullybackey to Galgorm greenway is being provided by the Department for Communities (DfC), DfI and DAERA (Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs) to fund the delivery of the Covid Recovery Small Settlements Regeneration Programme as part of an overall funding allocation of £2.1m.
A number of other projects in Mid and East Antrim are also funded through the programme with the council required to pay funding of ten per cent.
In Carnlough, work has commenced on the refurbishment of the multi-use games area pitch (MUGA) with a new 3G surface at a cost of £130k.
The provision of a floodlit “kickabout” area in Glynn outside Larne will cost £302,500. Existing lighting in Carnlough Harbour has been updated with plans for festoon lighting in the pipeline.
A £430k MUGA will be located in Portglenone adjacent to the marina and community centre. FP McCann Ltd has been awarded the contract. Plans for the project are expected to be completed by the end of March.
The 34m x 20m MUGA will have a 3G surface, flood lighting and ball-stop fencing.
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Ald Gerardine Mulvenna, commented recently:
“I am delighted that Council will be delivering this excellent pitch for the local community and I know it will be extremely popular and well-used.”
The project also includes an upgrade of the existing children’s play park.
Gerard Murray, regional director of development, DfC, said:
“The funding for this project has been made available through collaboration across central and local government, and it’s great to see work starting on the ground. I have no doubt it will deliver significant benefits for the people of Portglenone and to the continued efforts to maximise the potential of the town’s marina area.”
Ahoghill and Martinstown Play Parks were refurbished and reopened in June.
An “extensive” upgrade and refurbishment to the public toilets in Glenarm at a cost of £205k has also been completed. It includes Changing Places disabled toilet facilities, plus a sluice room for camper van visitors and an outdoor shower.