THE ANN Street area - which was once a busy hive of trade and community life - is to be given new potential as a “hub” linking the town centre with the West of Dungannon under exciting new proposals being considered by the council.
A community centre, child care facility, cafes and social housing project, not to mention a new home for the town’s Fire Station, are just some of the projects cited as potential developments for the 8.9 acre piece of land, which incorporates the long vacant Dunnes Store site and the Department of Social Development (DSD) owned car park.
The new Mid Ulster ‘super council’ will take on responsibility for all off-street car parking among other issues when it comes into being next year and, as such, the DSD car park will likely fall into its remit.
A report drawn up last year at the request of Dungannon Regeneration Partnership (DRP) looked at ways of creating “a visual, social and community link between the Town Centre/Irish Street to the existing commercial developments located on the Donaghmore Road”.
Other issues which were considered were how to create a stronger identity link between the various residential areas nearby.
Dungannon Town Sinn Fein councillors, Dominic Molloy and Deirdre Varsani, visited the site with the TIMES. Cllr Molloy said his party hopes to hold a public consultation on the project to allow the local community to have their say on the future of the area.
Cllr Molloy added: “Since joining DRP I have constantly pushed Ann Street on the agenda, so much that a sub group was set up to concentrate on putting firm pressure on all stakeholders to get the site developed.
“We have kept pressure on DSD who own the car park to look at the future on this land and make it available.”