Ambitious new plans for Coalisland will aim to transcend its economic and traffic woes by getting rid of its roundabouts and building a new marina.
The massive face-lift, revealed at this month’s Mid Ulster Council’s Development Committee meeting, could see multi-million pound funding pouring into improving the town’s centre.
However, in a move that might alarm local people who have had to endure the unpopular changes to Dungannon town centre’s traffic flow, the plans for Coalisland include a review of the town’s street layout in a bid to turn it into ‘a hive of activity’.
According to the Mid Ulster Council plans, which are the fruit of extensive consultation, the traffic recirculation will reduce the number of mini roundabouts, provide a main route for HGV lorries, introduce shared surface paved streets, review traffic flow on Main Street and increase the width of the public footpath.
It is also planned that a new marina at Coalisland canal basin will capitalise on the uniqueness of the town’s history, and options to reopen the canal and possibly link it to the Newry Canal will be explored.
The consultation found that too many visitors tended to get lost whilst navigating their way through the town, and that derelict properties were blighting the town centre.
It proposed an outdoor space for community events, new street lighting and furniture to reflect the town’s maritime past, as well as the development of derelict or under-used buildings.
The authors of the report said it was ‘a comprehensive programme of proposals and improvements’ that will transform the prospects for Coalisland over the next 15 years.
They went on to note: “Private sector investment needs to be encouraged and it is essential that statutory bodies and the council play their part, by seeking the right mix of development and by securing the high quality development expected by the plan.”
The report claimed that the future restoration of the old clay pits had the potential to act as a catalyst for investment and regeneration. All proposals contained within the plan will be subject to further consultation, design and refinement.