Omagh Place Shaping Plan highlights 'immense potential' of town - Bell

William Smith

Reporter:

William Smith

Email:

william.smith@tyronecon.co.uk

IT IS hoped that new proposals to radically reshape the centre of Omagh will make the town "more attractive, vibrant and inspirational".

Recently, the Omagh Place Shaping Plan was unveiled to members of the council's Regeneration Committee, contained within a 71-page document highlighting the aspirations of the project.

Some of the ambitious proposals set out in the document include the phased pedestrianisation of High Street, Bridge Street and the Mountjoy Road, the relocation of town centre car parks, and the transformation of Omagh's Courthouse.

According to the document, Omagh is at a turning point and must avail of current trends to reposition town centres as vibrant, less car-dominated, and thriving hubs for communities serving a range of uses.

Consideration has also given to the impact that the planned Strule Shared Education Campus will have on the town, as more town centre sites will become vacant. According to the place, these sites could be utilised to promote the revitalisation of Omagh.

Chairman of the council's Regeneration Committee, councillor Matthew Bell, said the plans highlight the "immense potential" of the town of Omagh, and has urged local people to engage with the present consultation.

“Over the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of chairing the Omagh Place Shaping sub-committee and I am delighted to see that the draft is now in the public domain and will be open to public consultation," councillor Bell said. "This document will serve as a blueprint for the council as we continue to plan for Omagh’s future and I encourage everyone to engage with the consultation, as this is about the future of your town.

"The Omagh place shaping plan highlights the problems in Omagh bluntly and it would be foolish to hide away from the problems in our town.

"Omagh is in need of infrastructure development, the school sites will be leaving the town centre and Omagh still has areas of deprivation. These are issues that will need resolved as Omagh develops over the next few decades.

"But the plan also highlights opportunities for Omagh and the potential that our lovely town has. Our town sits at the bottom of the beautiful Sperrin mountains and with that brings tourism, yet this asset is under utilised.

"Omagh’s location also serves its benefit, we are situated in the corridor between Londonderry and Belfast, as well as Londonderry and Dublin and opportunities exist to cement Omagh as a key player in the region, for people to live and commute from, as well as attract business.

"Omagh also has great potential to cement itself as a town people are happy to live with, survey after survey suggests people enjoy living here and there is opportunity to develop our town centre to make it more enjoyable, such as utilising the river more.

"All of these ambitions, ideas and solutions can only be forwarded with your help and over the next few weeks whilst consultations is underway, please have your say."

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