Omagh Town Centre Masterplan
Omagh as we know it will be consigned to history within the next two decades under major regeneration plans which aim to create a dynamic, attractive and prosperous town centre.
The Omagh Town Centre Masterplan identifies and illustrates unprecedented opportunities for major regeneration and development throughout Omagh. It sets out a framework for the creation of new homes, new business premises, multi-storey car parking, public squares, bars and restaurants, social activities and transport and pedestrian improvements.
The document states that increased developer interest in Omagh town centre, coupled with the anticipated release of substantial areas of former army lands, present exciting opportunities for the future of Omagh.
However, to maximise the benefit and sustainability of these prospects, it is essential that they are fully understood and planned carefully in relation to the existing town centre. As part of the proposals, Omagh’s High Street will be underpinned as the town’s principal shopping and leisure area, complemented in time with new development nearby. Its historic fabric of churches, narrow streets and barrack buildings such as the Courthouse will be conserved and revitalised to become a vibrant part of the town.
The potential of an educational campus at Lisanelly will be met by a dynamic area of the town centre focused on business and enterprise.
Campsie will be strengthened as an important town centre community, and new pedestrian bridges will help the riverside to play a central role in the life of Omagh as a place for recreation and leisure. However, in its conclusion, the masterplan document admits that realising Omagh’s regeneration opportunities will be a demanding process. It stated, “Achieving this vision will not be easy, with the many challenges that undoubtedly lie ahead. The current economic climate and changes to public administration are currently identified as two factors that will influence the way in which delivery can occur. “However, these must not be allowed to de-rail the critical process of successfully regenerating Omagh’s town centre. Proactive management, a close working relationship between stakeholder and a genuine, ongoing dialogue with residents hold the key to realising a dynamic and prosperous Omagh town centre.”
High Street/Market Street – The masterplan accepts that High Street and Market Street are Omagh’s most important streets and should remain so as the town develops into the future. It proposes that High Street/Market Street remains the focus of further investment to ensure that its shops and businesses are economically sustainable.
- Kevlin Avenue – Will complement High Street by providing new shops, restaurants and bars, new pedestrian streets and multi-storey carparking.
- Courthouse – It is proposed that the Courthouse frontage is reworked to make it more accessible to the public and visitors as a civic space at the top of High Street.
- Churches/St Lucia Area – The masterplan recognises the unique character of Omagh’s Churches area, and of the former barracks of St Lucia.
- To this end, it recommends building upon this unique character by developing the area as an ideal location for restaurants, cafes, bars, tourist attractions, small hotels and B&Bs. It also encourages the provision of cultural activities such as museums and galleries.
- Mountjoy Road – The masterplan highlights Mountjoy Road as becoming ‘an increasingly important area in Omagh’s future.’ It proposes that the area be focus for business and enterprise and is established as a tree-lined boulevard, to accommodate generous pedestrian footpaths, a cycle lane and cars.
- Bus Station – The proposed schools campus and potential relocation of a bus stop-over area could reduce the required size of the bus station area and allow for its potential redevelopment as an architecturally impressive arrival and departure point for Omagh.
- Campsie – The masterplan proposes that Campsie becomes a more defined community area to its residents and traders, and more of a specialist retail area to Omagh and its visitors.
- The area has the potential to become further integrated with the town, allowing town shoppers easier access to Campsie and the residents of the area to have easier use of the town centre.
- The River Strule – Within the concept, the Rivers Strule, Camowen and Drumragh will form an energised river core, linking together all areas of the town centre. The masterplan proposes that the river becomes the central focus of Omagh, with new buildings and spaces encouraged to front onto the river.
It states that the river should be seen as an amenity for locals and visitors to Omagh and as place to relax, spend time and play.