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Northern Ireland round-up: Eyesore grants, retail footfall down

Words: Roger Milne
Northern Ireland

A round-up of planning news in Northern Ireland: August 19-25, 2014

Goldmine project makes waves

The Northern Ireland administration has given short shrift to claims from environmentalists that it should be taking a tougher stance on the proposed goldmine at Curraghinalt in Co Tyrone.

The Planner

Banagher Gaelic Athletic Association Club scheme gets go-ahead

Environment minister Mark H Durkan has announced planning permission for state of the art facilities at Banagher Gaelic Athletic Association Club (GAC), Feeny. The scheme involves a new two-storey building plus car parking and landscaping in the rural setting of Fr McNally Park, Feeny.

Department of the Environment 

'Super council' plan sparks fear over regeneration costs

Council leaders of the planned new ‘super councils’ which come into existence formally next year in the province are concerned that the transfer of powers from Stormont to the new local authorities will mean costly regeneration currently being funded by central government will be “foisted” on the new bodies, creating a hike in rates.

Belfast Telegraph

Grants to tackle eyesores launched

People and communities tackling eyesores in their area will now be able to apply for grants under a new scheme launched by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. The small grants scheme is designed to tackle issues such as poor environmental quality, littering and dilapidation, particularly in coastal areas.

Belfast Telegraph

Enniskillen plans get go-ahead

A new £1.9 million scheme to transform the Castle Basin area of Enniskillen town centre has been given the go-ahead. As part of the plan, an extensive riverside walkway, an events area and a new Castle Promenade will be built along the River Erne's shoreline. The Department for Social Development has provided most of the money for the project and will work jointly with Fermanagh District Council.

Belfast Telegraph

Seamus Heaney commemoration approved

Plans for a new centre to commemorate Seamus Heaney have been given the go-ahead, Northern Ireland's environment minister Mark H Durkan has announced. The 2,036 square metre facility will be built on the site of a former police station in the late poet's native Bellaghy, Co Londonderry.

Northern Ireland Executive

Retail footfall down in July 

Northern Ireland retailers suffered a fourth month in a row of declining footfall in July, with high streets the hardest hit, latest figures collected by the NI Retail Consortium have shown. Stormont has been urged to do more to boost town centres after a new report showed the province had the highest rate of empty shops in the UK.

Belfast Telegraph