Partnership set to offer response to Masterplan

Community News
Community News

Dromore Partnership will meet later this week to

finalise its response to the town centre ‘Masterplan’ currently subject to public consultation.

At the Thursday evening meeting in Dromore Town Hall, members of the Partnership will hear from the plan’s architects, GM Design Associates, who will make a further presentation on their wide-ranging proposals to stimulate the regeneration of the town.

According to Partnership chairman, Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson, the consultants will also be outliing the response they have received throughout the public consultation process.

“We will then be able to consider how best to take the plans forward,” he said.

The ‘Masterplan’ has not been free from controversy, with specific proposals for a one-way traffic system - linked to a new access road - at Market Square, coming in for sharp criticism.

Some traders went as far as to predict that the introduction of such a system would sound the death knell for Dromore.

Mr Donaldson himself joined local DUP MLAs in writing to the consultants to caution them against the introduction of any such system.

In favour of some of the more innovative proposals in the draft Masterplan, he said at the time: “Whilst I understand the motivation behind the proposed one-way system to ease traffic congestion, I believe that the negative effect on town centre trade could outweigh any perceived benefit.

“Commerce in Dromore has struggled to survive in recent years with the economic downturn and the change in retail patterns.

“Anything that deters local people from shopping in the Square and its environs as well as the potential loss in car-park spaces could result in the closure of more businesses and act as a disincentive for new ones being established.”

Ahead of this week’s meeting, he said he remained aware of widespread concern over some elements of the Masterplan, specifically the one-way system, but he was confident, he said, the matter could be addressed and a broadly acceptable outcome achieved.

“An essential element to planning for the regeneration of Dromore Town Centre,” he said, “is the ability to ensure concerns are taken fully on board.

“I don’t expect the envisaged one-way system to form part of the final proposal.”