Larne public realm work may continue into Christmas period

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Larne public realm works could continue beyond the Christmas moratorium period, a council officer has warned.

At a meeting of the council’s Economic Growth and Development Committee on November 11, council officer Aidan Donnelly told councillors that contractors could be “pulled off” the work to deal with issues elsewhere.

“The moratorium date in Larne is scheduled for December 1 or 2,” he told councillors.

“In Larne ,our contractors are following NIE. The weather forecast says snow, so if a team is pulled off this type of work to deal with issues there is a danger that our contractor could catch up with NIE, so the time gained at the start of the scheme could be lost.”

Mr Donnelly said that council was looking at continuing work “for part of the moratorium period” and would discuss this with retailers at a meeting on November 24.

Alderman Maureen Morrow said that there were issues relating to public realm work at Lower Main Street, where there was “only one-way traffic.”

She added that a trader had access problems after erecting signs to access his shop via Agnew Street car park, only to find that the car park was “blocked off by vehicles and machines.”

Ald Morrow said that disabled parking had also been cordoned off and asked if signs could be put up to advertise the £1 parking scheme for five hours.

She also asked if it was possible for the £1 parking ticket to be used at several car parks in the town.

“Disabled people can’t get near and they have to drive from one area to another,” she continued.

“In the last three weeks, three people have fallen going into a shop, people with walking aids and sticks. Three people have fallen on the footpaths and they have had to bring them in and treat them. There are a lot of issues at that end of the town.

Mr Donnelly said that the work on Agnew Street was being carried out by NIE, not by the public realm contractor, and had been “outside of council’s control”.

He said that NI Water would finish its work in Larne in the next week or two and that access to premises “should be maintained at all times”. He said that officers would examine concerns and that he would enquire about the use of parking tickets.