Sinn Fein asks: ‘How long will crown feature remain at the Circular Road?’

The Crown at the Circular Road roundabout. INLT 23-381-PR

The Crown at the Circular Road roundabout. INLT 23-381-PR

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SINN Fein has asked for clarification of Larne Borough Council’s future plans for the Jubilee crown centre piece at Circular Road roundabout.

As previously reported, the local authority has submitted a planning application for the elaborate construction, which was manufactured by trainees at Larne Skills Development.

Originally, the crown feature was intended as a temporary structure to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and did not require planning permission, but the local authority now wants to keep its options open, as the design and matching flower beds have been entered in two competitions - the annual Ulster In Bloom awards and a contest for the best Diamond Jubilee display in Co Antrim, organised by Lord lieutenant Joan Christie.

It is anticipated that Planning Service will inform the council of its decision in August, at which time councillors are to determine how long they wish the feature to remain in situ.

Sinn Fein MLA for East Antrim Oliver McMullan said he had “no problem” with the crown motif as a temporary feature, but queried how long it would remain in place.

“If the council are entering things for Jubilee awards, it’s not something I would jump over the moon about, but so be it.

“It does appear that it is a temporary situation, in which case I don’t think anybody would have a problem with it and I certainly wouldn’t, but there are reports that it is to made a permanent structure, which I think would send out the wrong message because the Crown pertains to one side of the community and the Larne borough has a large number of nationalist residents.

“If Larne truly wants to welcome people to the town and the Coast Road then I think something innovative that everybody can support is required at that roundabout,” said the Assembly member.