Rural action plans finalised

ASHFIELD/Gowdystown, Kinallen, Finnis and Waringsford are among 15 rural settlements for which Banbridge District council has now finalised action plans.

The plans were prepared as part of a council project aimed at giving people living in the areas concerned an opportunity to identify the needs and issues facing their communities and to come up with a wish-list of actions to make those areas better places in which to live and work.

Following a period of public consultation the plans have been finalised and the council says it will be working with other statutory agencies, the private sector and the community and voluntary sector to try and deliver on those actions identified.

Actions vary from short to long-term measures and most depend upon finance being secured to enable them to happen.

Match funding for the project was secured from the NI Rural Development Programme under Measure 3.5 Village Renewal Development and NI Housing Executive.

The council explained that many of the actions were short term or ‘quick wins’ that could be achieved with minimum funding and without formal permissions and had been identified to help drive the implementation of longer term projects.

More complex projects, they say, will require permissions to be in place, like Planning Permission or Traffic Regulation Orders.

The council has undertaken to monitor the progress of the plans, identifying any stumbling blocks and potential resolutions so that the plans can always be moving forward, and may call on selected community groups to drive forward particular elements of the plan, in particular any proposals that require funding that can only be sought by community groups.