Armagh council gave their final seal of approval for Keady and Richhill’s Environmental Improvement Scheme which was ratified at council on Monday night.
Councillor Thomas O’Hanlon is Chairman of the Council’s Keady Working Group and has lead the council team overseeing the development of the town’s new play park, Tommy Makem Community & Arts Centre and now the Environmental Improvement Scheme.
Councillor O’Hanlon explained: “Last night’s final approval for both Keady and Richhill’s Environmental Improvement Schemes marks yet another milestone in the Council’s efforts to enhance and invest in local towns and villages and I know they will be welcomed by local communities and traders in both Keady and Richhill. Both schemes will now be submitted to Planning Service for approval.
“Keady’s Environmental Improvement Scheme is very much needed and will see new footpaths, junction improvements and new street furniture installed throughout the town.
“The main body of work will run from Kinelowen Street at the Fire Station right up the town to the site of the former Police Station at Davis Street; and will see works on Bridge Street, Victoria Street and Market Street in the town.
“It will include improvements around the towns Kirk Monument and additional car parking in the Square and will see also see a shop front / spruce up scheme made available to commercial property owners next year to allow them to paint and improve the front of their properties.
“These proposals have been subject to community consultation and following last night’s approval planning applications will be submitted to Planning Service this week. I have asked Planning Service to have the applications fast-tracked and that the necessary approvals are brought before Council as a matter of urgency. At the same time that the planning applications are being processed, Council Officers will be progressing the tendering process with the hope that the scheme will commence on site early in January 2015.’
“The Keady scheme is part of a wider investment package in Keady and whilst very much welcome it is long overdue. Earlier this year we had the now very popular and successful Play Park opened in Keady Glen, and construction is already well under will for the new Tommy Makem Community and Arts Centre which is due for completion during 2015.
“This work is very welcome and I hope that in addition to the obvious physical and visual improvements throughout the town, the works will help improve traffic flow and ease traffic congestion which all too often gridlocks the town at peak times. I also hope it will encourage investment and job creation in the area.
“I know there will be obvious disruption when the works are ongoing next year, however I hope that residents and traders alike will see the benefits of the scheme and I have asked that a clear communications plan is put in place to make sure everyone knows what part of the works will be happening when, and working with the contractor, Roads Service and the PSNI that traffic disruption is kept to a minimum. But in essence, this is another good day for Keady.”