South Antrim Alliance MLA David Ford has welcomed the news that the Transport Holding Company is to sell its interest in the land at the Ulster Bar corner in Antrim town centre.
David Ford said:
“I was told last week by Dr Joan Smith, Chair of the company, that the Transport Holding Company has decided to abandon plans for a new bus station at the Ulster Bar corner and to sell its land. This is welcome news that will free up this prime empty site in Antrim town centre for redevelopment.
“It is outrageous that this site has lain empty for so long. It is a blot on the landscape, which Antrim needs to see removed.
“The Ulster Bar is a key site, occupying the gap between the traditional shopping area of Church Street/High Street, the Castle Centre and the new Tesco site. Building new shops on the site will both get rid of the derelict site and provide a link between the three areas which will encourage shoppers to move between them.
“Several years ago, I worked with those involved in the Private Finance project to make a success of that scheme. Unfortunately, the government rules for Private Finance made it impossible for that scheme to work properly.
Mr Ford added:
“I hope that the decision of the Transport Company will allow the Education Board to proceed with a much needed library on their part of the site while allowing commercial development which will significantly enhance the town centre for all the residents of Antrim.”