Work is due to commence on Lock No 1 at Stranmillis weir, after planning permission was recently passed for the long anticipated “Lagan Gateway project”. The site, located along the River Lagan towpath, will be linked with other already established recreational areas and is the first step to recreating a working waterway, since it first opened in 1763.
The Lagan Gateway project proposes a number of structural improvements and development works at Stranmillis including the development of a navigation lock, an iconic foot and cycle bridge, the refurbishment of the existing weir and high quality landscaping with associated path connections.The total investment is ca 4.8 million. Belfast City Council are investing around 50% through the Belfast Investment Fund. Other partners are Ulster Garden Villages (1m investment), Department for Communities, Department for Infrastructure, DFI Rivers and the Lagan Navigation Trust.
We’re working with partners to deliver key investment projects such as the Lagan Gateway that will promote healthy living and increase physical activity. A design team has worked on the detailed plans for the Lagan Gateway project and planning approval was secured in June 2017. We are hoping to start construction in autumn 2017
In addition landscaping is proposed throughout the scheme including an area which will include picnic tables and cycle stands.
Chair of the Lagan Navigation Trust, Erskine Holmes said “The commencement of work at Lock number 1 reinforces the potential to open the entire Navigation from Belfast Harbour to Lough Neagh, creating opportunities for economic development and tourism. The Lagan Gateway project will attract significant visitors who will want to experience the activities associated with the navigation, namely boating, walking, cycling, jogging, canoeing, water sports and angling.
Currently, an unattractive and inefficient pen weir exists at Stranmillis. It controls water levels between Stranmillis and Newforge, but it both restricts the movement of river traffic upstream, and causes detrimental erosion of the river bed.
Erskine went on to say” The success and benefits accruing from Lock 1 are intimately linked to this broader vision of a fully restored Lagan Navigation. To this end, the project also envisages restoration of Lock 2 at Mooreland Meadow, within the Lagan Valley Regional Park. This will entail the construction of a new control weir, complete refurbishment of the lock, and clearing of the channel, upstream and downstream.”