ambitious application for a community hall in Ballymacash has
been given the green light by planners.
After months of work the North Lisburn
Community Investment group have now taken another step towards
seeing their dreams become a reality.
As well as the hall with seating and play
area, a five-a-side football pitch and car parking has been
given the go ahead at Rathvarana Drive.
It marks another step towards the realisation
of the scheme, although more money has still to be identified.
Craig Berry, Secretary of North Lisburn
Community Investment, said the hall would bring benefits to the
"North Lisburn is one of the largest urban
areas in Lisburn City and it is undergoing a rapid expansion in
development, yet the people living here have never had local
community facilities" he said.
"Ballymacoss and Ballymacash are areas with
significant social and community needs, and the lack of local
facilities contributes to the deprivation in the area. A local
community facility will help us improve provision of services
Mr Berry said the organisation has been
working towards a community facility for four years.
He said: "It has been agreed by the Housing
Executive that it will provide the land and Lisburn City Council
is willing to contribute over £260 000 to the project. Now
another piece in the jigsaw has been put in place. But there is
still a lot of work to be done to make this a reality."
Mr Berry said the community infrastructure in
the area needed to be built up and urged people in the community
to volunteer to help develop more community projects, events and
"We need to skill up people in the community
to help us as we want this centre to be community owned and
community led. And we have to secure at least another £500 000
of additional funding to be able to make this dream into a
reality for the people of this area.
"If we are successful then the people in this
area will have modern facilities from which they take part in
recreational programmes, education and training, community
events, sports, and access local services."
Councillor Jonathan Craig welcomed the news
describing it as a major step forward for the community.
He praised the work of North Lisburn
Community Investment saying their plans were very ambitious.
"The community up there are set to get a first class facility
for their young people" he said.
"The people involved have taken it upon
themselves to put the hard work in and it certainly has paid
"They have worked closely with major
developers in the area and hopefully it will be delivered soon."
Developers and locals unite to boost community
THE project was a given a boost when the North
Lisburn Development Consortium (Farrans Construction, Snoddons
Construction, Porter Property and Coby Developments) engaged
with the local community as part of the major residential and
roads delivery project. In conjunction with Lisburn Council, the
community and the developers agreed that the Ballymacash
community would benefit greatly from a new community focus and a
facility which could serve all ages and interests.
The consortium therefore agreed, working with
the Council, to promote and submit an outline planning
application to establish the principle of a Community Hall
within the estate. Planning Permission was recently recommended
by the Planning Service which was approvedby the Council's
David Craigan, spokesman for the Consortium
said: "This is terrific news for the community and we are happy
to have been involved. The community have been great neighbours
during the construction of the Thaxton development and we look
forward to continuing to work with the Community Associations in