City pays price for mothballed masterplans
As 2012 looms ahead, I wonder whether anyone with any gravitas in Northern Ireland can recall the ambitious masterplans mooted before the last election, for makeovers of towns such as the city of Lisburn?
These masterplans were intended to improve the urban environment, as well as transport provision together with urban regeneration and the provision of cultural facilities. By the latter I, of course, mean arts and entertainment in the form of art galleries, concert halls and theatres.
Alas, these plans appear to have been mothballed.
Anyone visiting Lisburn in 2012 for the first time will notice:
* The city has a rather shabby run-down appearance.
* Many local businesses have shut up shop completely, for example the Point and Hagues pub.
* There is no central area of green space such as a park, perhaps with a cafe.
* Public transport has become centralised at the £30m bus station, and bus stops around the town have been removed so passengers have to walk all the way to the station for a bus/train.
* Lisburn does have good out of town shopping. However John Lewis seems still being held up by various silly planning squabbles.