Long-awaited improvement works at a major housing development in Larne have been welcomed by local politicians this week.
Residents at the Lindara site have long been lobbying for the infrastructure in the area to be brought up to standard, after developer Eassda went into administration in 2009, leaving roads, footways, street lighting, storm drains, sewers and manholes incomplete.
However, the Roads Service has now cashed in builders’ bonds totalling about £500,000 to pay for the installation of upgrades at the site.
The latest phase of the work will see the main link road between Lindara and Walnut Hollow opened up to through traffic and public transport.
East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs and Larne Mayor Maureen Morrow recently visited the site to see the progress so far.
Mr Beggs said: “The removal of the large pile of soil and rubble on the main link road between Lindara and Walnut Hollow is a sign that progress is finally being made in completing the work which was left undone.
“It has been a long process- and there are still a couple of areas which are unresolved, but the utilization of the roads bonds by Roads Service has really progressed matters over the past year.”
NI Water has also laid a new water main from Linn Road to Walnut Hollow, and currently Roads Service contractors are finishing off the drainage, kerbing, vehicle restraint systems and surfacing of footways and carriageways.
When the top coat is laid and the roads are ‘adopted’ for future public maintenance, this will complete the connection of Walnut Hollow with Lindara and create a new link between the Killyglen and Linn roads.
Mr Beggs added: “I have been in contact with Translink and they tell me that plans are in place to put on a local town bus service through this area on an hourly timetable. ”
UUP Mayor Cllr Maureen Morrow also welcomed the progress at the site and said it was “long overdue”.
She added: “The link between Lindara and Walnut Hollow will help traffic flow and ease congestion at the upper end of the Linn Road and the Killyglen Road.
“However the traffic bottle necks which persist at the lower end of the Linn Road and on Donaghy’s Lane will not be eased until the final two pieces of the Larne West housing development are built on.
“Larne Council has been consistently pushing for the link road to be completed right through from the Killyglen Road to the Old Belfast Road and A8 near Millbrook.”