Donaghadee Master Plan delivery jeopardised

Donaghadee Master Plan delivery jeopardised

Gavin at desk 600 x 400Alliance Councillor and Donaghadee Steering Group Chair Gavin Walker has slammed the “shambolic approach” adopted by government departments concerning Public Realm scheme in Donaghadee.

With the scheme now coming to an end Departments for Social and Regional Development are each responsible for follow on actions such as roads resurfacing and funding to help traders recover after the significant disruption endured.

Department for Regional Development has refused to fund vital road resurfacing schemes in Donaghadee whilst the Department for Social Development has offered a small pot of Revitalisation Funding rather than the required funds to boost trade in the town following the disruption occurred.

Alliance Councillor and Donaghadee Steering Group Chair, Gavin Walker said “The decision by Mervyn Storey DUP Minister of Regional Development to postpone the transfer of regeneration powers to Councils has placed the delivery of ambitious and exciting Master Plans in jeopardy.

“The recently completed Public Realm work was to be the start of a period of development for our towns – not be an end in themselves.

“The Minister has made this decision despite the promise of the transfer of Regeneration powers to Council as an integral part of the Reform of Local Government. So his statement that ‘now is not the right time to go ahead with the transfer of these key DSD functions to councils,’ is both disingenuous and a body-blow to the Steering Groups which have been preparing to deliver many of the exciting aspects of the Master Plans.

“Our hopes to create an outstanding tourism destination in Donaghadee with the creation of the Commons Coastal Path and Crommelin Eco Park have been unnecessarily put into jeopardy with us being left floundering after this incredible last-minute moving of the goalposts by the Minister.

“If we are to have any hope of delivering even small parts of the Master Plans we need to have more funding with a more strategic approach rather than a small pot now and no guarantee of anything in the future. I have raised my concern with DSD officials and will be writing to the Minister on behalf of the residents of Donaghadee to express my disappointment in the strongest terms.”

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