Belfast Telegraph

Assembly to tackle Glengormley issues

by Chris McCann

An adjournment debate on the regeneration of Glengormley town centre is set to take place at Stormont next week.

It will take place on Tuesday (January 18) afternoon after being secured by North Belfast DUP MLA Nelson McCausland.

The debate comes on the back of concern among traders and businessmen about the decline in the area over the past number of years.

In recent weeks a number of businesses have closed or moved.

“That is a disappointment in |itself but it also has a knock-on |effect in that it further reduces |the retail offer and the overall appeal of the area for shoppers,” said Mr McCausland.

“Adjournment debates afford an opportunity in the Assembly |to discuss local issues such as |this and the relevant executive minister then responds to the points which have been raised |by the members.

“The debate should last around an hour and it will enable us to highlight the concerns of the |local businesses.”

Last week the MLA met with local traders. “It was good for us to hear directly from the traders about the problems they face and the ideas they have to regenerate the area,” said Mr McCausland.

“We were also able to put forward some ideas of our own as to how their concerns might be addressed. That engagement with the business community has helped to inform our thinking and it will also inform the adjournment debate next week.”

The Draft Regeneration Strategy for Glengormley, which has been prepared by the Department for Social Development, in partnership with Newtownabbey Borough Council, was deferred at the December meeting of the council.

This deferral was requested to enable stakeholders to have another opportunity to influence the content of the strategy.

“I have spoken to the department about this and they will |welcome that input from stakeholders,” added the MLA.

“If we are to see Glengormley become what it should be then we need a holistic approach. Some |of the issues lie within the remit of Newtownabbey Council but others will require the involvement of several Northern Ireland departments and agencies.

“DSD has oversight of regeneration but traders and businessmen have raised issues around planning, which involves the Planning Service and the Department of the Environment, and roads and parking, which involve Roads Service and the Department for Regional Development. That is why the Assembly needs to be involved in the discussion.”

Belfast Telegraph


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