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Long-vacant Armagh site to become mini city centre park – with seats and outdoor chess board!

The site of the old Green's barber shop on English Street - now long demolished - will 'provide a public realm area with seating offering the opportunity for people to enjoy and reflect on the beauty of the surrounding buildings'

Armagh Upper English Street parklet plans

The site of the former Green’s Barber shop at English Street in Armagh is to be developed as a city centre ‘parklet’ – complete with seating and outdoors chess board!

Anyone of a certain age will recall the prominent three-storey structure when it was a thriving men’s barber shop attending to the grooming needs of generations of Armagh menfolk.

But it has sadly remained a vacant site for over two decades now, essentially forgotten about behind boarded panels.

Now Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is to investigate the possibility of taking on a lease for the site and developing it.

With so-much movement in relation to the restoration of buildings under the Townscape Heritage Initiative, the council feels this is a space which could have real community benefit.

It is sandwiched between the old Dunnes stores – currently being developed – and Trimprint.

The council would envisage a green space, complete with seating, and has already drawn up initial drawings of what it might looks like.

The vacant land stretches to close to 700 sq ft and, rather than sitting behind wooden boards, would be opened to the public.

A report to the council’s economic development committee this week reveals “no plans to replace what existed have yet come to fruition since its demolition” and “in initial discussions with the current owners, officers have ascertained that there are no immediate plans to develop the site”.

The report adds: “The parklet will provide a public realm area with seating offering the opportunity for
people to enjoy and reflect on the beauty of the surrounding buildings.

“There will be an acknowledgement to the key funders in the form of plaque secured to the side of a chess table which will be available for use by anyone.

“As the restoration of these buildings will offer a huge increase in residential housing in this area, the parklet will be a fantastic, shared community space for residents and visitors alike.

“In order to pursue this project, following agreement of the lease with the owner, planning permission will need to be approved and a suitable contractor will be procured.”

Councillors have agreed to move the scheme further and the costs would be included in its ‘activity plan’ for townscape heritage for the 2024/25 financial year.

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