By Caoimhe MacLochlainn
Trees in the Strabane area have been encroaching on buildings, causing obstructions to pedestrians and vehicular traffic and obscuring business shop frontages. Plans to carry out essential maintenance to trees were approved by members of Derry City and Strabane District Council ‘s Environment and Regeneration Committee.
Committee members were told that the work would be supported by external funding from the Department for Communities. This is part of the Recovery Revitalisation Programme currently being progressed for Strabane Town Centre and Derry City Centre. The programme aims to introduce environmental improvements and streetscape enhancements to help the recovery of town and city centres affected by Covid-19.
Following engagement with Strabane BID and local stakeholders, the condition and appearance of trees were identified as a priority action. Businesses would like Council to address this in terms of improving local streetscapes.
Chair of the Environment and Regeneration Committee, Alderman Maurice Devenney, said the work would be welcomed by the local community.
“This is very welcome news for local businesses in the area who will benefit from the enhanced streetscape work. We are all aware of the challenges faced by the business industry at this time and any work that will benefit our town and city centres and create safer, more accessible outdoor spaces for people and a welcoming shopping environment is to be welcomed.
“Once it is safe for our high streets to reopen it is important that we support the local economy where we can by proactively continuing to promote the shop local message and assisting local businesses where we can with their recovery,” Mr Devenney said.
Council’s Tree and Woodland Officer explained the nature of the work which will involve crown reductions and crown lifting due to the narrow design of Strabane’s streets. This will help ensure less contact with the buildings and reduce the chances of blocking shop frontage and problems for pedestrians or vehicles.