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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Plans progress for new lights on Viaduct after council’s concerns over health and safety

Randalstown Viaduct

Randalstown Viaduct (Image: whileonourtravels)

A project to illuminate Randalstown Viaduct has taken a step forward after a tender was approved at last month’s meeting of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Councillors agreed behind closed doors that the project should proceed to the final delivery stage. It was proposed works should commence in March with a view to completion in May.

The council gave permission for viaduct illuminations and the V36 Skate Park in April 2021. Both are part-funded by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

A planning application to illuminate Randalstown Viaduct was given unanimous support by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Planning Committee last April.

Artist's impression from road level of new lighting poles along viaduct footpath, and (inset) design of lighting poles to be fitted.

Artist's impression from road level of new lighting poles along viaduct footpath (day & night), and (inset) design of lighting poles to be fitted.

The application relates to the installation of five new black-coloured lighting columns, five metres in height, along the Randalstown Viaduct, a grade B+ listed bridge of special architectural interest.

The committee was advised the council is “concerned that the lack of lighting on the bridge is a health and safety issue which needs to be addressed”.

A report by planners to the committee noted the Randalstown Conservation Guide “recognises the importance of the viaduct and seeks to encourage its enhancement through supplementary lighting”.

The report continues: “The design of the new columns is contemporary, though respectful as a modern intervention and as such is considered sympathetic to the listed structure.

“Other works proposed include the replacement of the existing arch up-lighting and the refurbishment of the period lighting features on the lattice bridge.

“Overall, it is considered that the proposed works will have no significant adverse impact on the existing character and setting of the viaduct, the adjacent Randalstown Bridge and the Randalstown Conservation Area and are acceptable in relation to design and appearance.”

The report also said that the proposed works will “improve and enhance public safety on the viaduct”.

Randalstown Viaduct was constructed in the late 18th century and has nine arches. The top and part of the railway track have been converted into a community garden, walkway and cycle path leading from Station Road to New Street.

The Department for Community’s Historic Environment Division (HED) has given its approval subject to conditions. The lighting colour is to be “warm white”.


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