Limavady is set to get a facelift with the launch this month of a ‘ReVitalise’ project to spruce up Linenhall Street and Main Street.
The Sentinel revealed, almost exactly one year ago, that the local council were preparing a town centre ‘Masterplan’ to take on the blight of derelict and dilapidated buildings in the town centre.
A ‘revitalise’ shopfront scheme is now being launched, aimed at commercial properties and shopfronts.
Now, applications are being invited to all commercial properties in the proposed area, what is referred to in the Masterplan documents as the ‘Western Gateway’ of Limavady - Linenhall Street and the upper part of Main Street.
The application process will not remain open long, however, with a closing date of January 31, 2014. A statement issued on behalf of the council explained the process: “The proposed shopfront scheme for Linenhall Street and the upper part of Main Street in Limavady town is now open.
“The application process will close on 31 January 2014. This will be followed by a short assessment process, and letters of offer will be issued to successful applicants afterwards. Work may begin on 1 April, and should be finished no later than the end of the summer.
The ReVitalise Scheme for Limavady has been funded by Limavady Borough Council in conjunction with the Department for Social Development.”
When the plans were first being presented to the Borough’s councillors, back in January last year, Director of Development Valerie Richmond explained the need for such a scheme.
She said: “Limavady town centre has suffered from dereliction over the past few years. This has manifested itself in vacant properties and gaps in the main streets, as well as some neglect for the character of the town itself.
“Council, in conjunction with the Department for Social Development, has completed a town masterplanning exercise, and endorsed the subsequent document.
“The document notes: ‘Traditional shop frontages and designs should be utilised to retain the character of the town centre.
‘Replacement windows and/or doors should match the design of the original or where it is not known, a design typical of the original age of the building will suffice; special consideration is required within the setting of listed buildings and/or the proposed Area of Townscape Character, where the conservation of the local historic fabric is an important component of the local setting’.” The report continues:
“All applicants will have to obtain the agreement of the Planning Service. The purpose of the scheme is to improve the overall look and character of the town. It is a first step to encouraging pride both in the fabric of the properties on the street, but also in the wider town. As such, this Western Gateway could be a major step in improving the townscape. Exclusions will apply to private dwellings, and places of worship.”
The scheme will not extend to residential properties. In another Development report, presented to Limavady’s elected representatives ahead of a council meeting in February 2013, Valerie Richmond explained: “In response to a query DSD has conﬁrmed that it is not in a position to fund any work onresidentialproperties.”