Ulster Unionist Assembly Member for South Belfast Michael McGimpsey has met with Roads Service regarding the proposed resurfacing of Rugby Road.
Rugby Road Residents Association had contacted the Assembly Member with their concerns about the resurfacing and the detrimental effect it would have on the townscape character of the area.
In a statement Mr McGimpsey said, “I had contacted Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy when Rugby Road Residents Association had raised their concerns about the proposed resurfacing work with me. As a result work was stopped immediately to facilitate a full consultation with residents.”
“Rugby Road is a beautiful tree lined road within the Queens Quarter of Belfast. It houses many listed buildings not least the Union Theological College and is a regular backdrop for television and film.”
“While I understand the argument by Road Service that the pavements and road surface are in a poor state I feel this is a very unique area of significant townscape character and as such requires a more sympathetic approach. I believe the plans to replace the paving stones with tarmac and cover the cobblestones along the side of the road will be detrimental to the character of the area and reduce its attractiveness to film crews.”
In conclusion Mr McGimpsey said, “Given the significance the Northern Ireland Executive has placed on the creative industries and protecting our built heritage I believe there must be Ministerial Intervention in this case to ensure that any resurfacing work is done in a sympathetic manner. Failure to do so could have a huge impact on jobs and tourism and I have written to the relevant Ministers to ensure they do all in their power to protect this unique corner of South Belfast.”