Thursday 09 May 2019 08:25:28 PM

Residents Urged to Support Ballykinlar Community Consultation
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BALLYKINLAR and Tyrella residents are being given a unique opportunity to have their say about the future development of their area.

Consultants are being  appointed to assist in preparing an integrated development plan for the area. Funding support has been secured received under the Village Renewal Measure, which is being part-funded under Axis 3 and 4 of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 by the European Union and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

David Corbett, Chairperson of Ballykinlar and Tyrella Community Association, said: “We have been working with Down Rural Area Partnership for some time to secure funding to enable us to employ a consultant who will assist us to prepare a development plan.

“We selected Newry firm Mentor Economic Developments Ltd to help us because of their track record and experience in development planning and because they use a very innovative community consultation tool called Planning for Real which involves building a large three dimensional model of the area. But we will say more about this part of the process at a later date. We are starting our consultation process with a household survey.”

Councillor Dermot Curran has urged residents in the Ballykinlar and Tyrella area to support the consultation ongoing to improve their community.

Down District Councillor Dermot Curran also commented on the development and said: “I am delighted that the Ballykinlar and Tyrella group is pressing ahead. I have been working with them for some time and attended a meeting with them between the Council and the SEELB.

“We need to get a business plan developed so that we can work towards a service level agreement between the Council and the SEELB. When this is done we will see real progress in the Ballykinlar area. The old school is the hub of the development but the local Ballykinlar group will be addressing many other key issues and I urge everyone in the area to support the consultation process which will help to shape up how we move forward with this important development.”

Niall Addis, a previous Chairman of the Association and current committee member, said: “There has been good local interest and uptake in the consultation locally as it gets off the ground. The old primary school could certainly be the centre of our community development, and there are a wide range of other issues we still have to address such as housing and roads.

“We are delighted that the traffic calming measures are now being put in place as there was a traffic speeding issue in Ballykinlar. We have an excellent. active committee from across the community and I’m sure we will be successful in pushing all of this through to a satifactory conclusion.

“If we find a solution to the purchase or lease of the school through Down District Council we can have excellent youth facilities supported by the SEELB in our community which would be a great plus. And we could possibly use the rest of the space for sustainable activities.”

Frank Dolaghan, Managing Director of Mentor Economic Developments Limited, explained that the Planning for Real process would be supported in the area by a household survey and he encouraged every household to make sure they completed and returned a survey form.

“Volunteers from the Community Association will be calling with as many households as they can over the next two weeks,” explained Mr Dologhan, and he added, “But survey forms will also be available for collection at the local Vivo filling station. He added that the chances of securing funding for the area are greater if it can demonstrate the support of the local people and so the survey is particularly important.”

The Planning for Real event for the area will take place early in the New Year.