DERRY City and Strabane District Council’s Planning Committee have approved plans to develop a £1m cycling and walking route in Strabane.
The development will see a 3.5km route constructed in the town, connecting the A5, Derry Road, Canal Basin, River Mourne Flood Wall and Strabane Retail Park.
Proposals also include amendments to existing road kerb alignments, new road markings and signage, drainage, hard and soft landscaping, new path lighting and adjustments to existing road lighting and boundary treatments.
The work is highlighted as a key capital project in Council’s Strategic Growth Plan, which commits to connect people and opportunities through infrastructure while promoting neighbourhood enhancement through the development of local environmental improvement facilities.
The project is a key aspect of the overall Strabane-Lifford greenway which forms part of the North West Greenway Network project, which will see the District connected with Buncrana, Lifford and Muff.
Funding has been provided through the INTERREG VA programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).
Match-funding is provided by the Department for Communities, Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland and the Department for Transport, Tourism and Sport in Ireland.
Chair of Derry City and Strabane District Council Planning Committee, Councillor Christopher Jackson, welcomed this week’s approval.
“The completed project will offer cyclists and walkers a wider, safer and more user friendly experience and can play a key role in encouraging the public to get out into the fresh air and reap the health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity,” he said.
“It will also provide an incentive for more local people to choose active travel which will have a positive impact on the environment by reducing congestion and fuel emissions.”
Head of Planning at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Maura Fox, said the greenway also met a number of objectives within the Strabane Area Plan.
“The new shared cyclist and pedestrian greenway path will be a significant enhancement for cyclists and walkers in the area,” she said.
“This development is in keeping with key objectives in the Strabane Area Plan to improve the quality of the urban environment, to make effective use of new and existing infrastructure and to conserve and enhance the natural and man-made environment.”
Jonathan Henderson, programme manager for the North West Greenway Network, said, “This project has been developed over three years and it is fantastic that planning has now been approved.
“Council will now proceed to appoint a construction company with the aim of completing the project this year.”
All planning application forms, drawings, letters etc. relating to this planning application are available to view at www.planningni.gov.uk.
Details on the North West Greenway Network can be found at www.nwgreenway.com.