Holyland residents claim they are being blocked from developing a new wildflower alleyway by local landlords.
As part of an effort to rejuvenate the South Belfast area, local residents have been developing plans to create a new wildflower alleyway between Palestine Street and Carmel Street which they believe will help the community come together.
It follows a previous alleyway redevelopment off University Avenue called Wildflower Alley that has won awards due to its successful conversion.
Read more: South Belfast residents leading the way in regeneration of Holyland alleys
Speaking to Belfast Live, one local resident said: “As part of an effort to improve our area we have been looking to rewild alleyways in the Holyland and turn them into bright and open community spaces.
“We have already had a lot of success with Wildflower Alley and we are hoping to replicate that throughout the area.
“Recently we have been working with the Department for Communities and a company called Artsexta who have been helping us to develop plans for a new wildflower alleyway between Palestine Street and Carmel Street.
“The alleyway is currently very dilapidated and covered in dirt and graffiti and we are hoping to add vertical planters and create new murals along the length of the alleyway to brighten the place up and make it a good community space.
“However, we have run into a bit of an issue putting it all together as a number of local landlords are refusing to let us make any sort of alterations to the alleyways and we cannot understand why. This scheme would do nothing but boost the area and make it more welcoming for residents.”
Residents also said they were aware of attempts to have the current Wildflower Alley removed.
They continued: “Last year we were made aware of a meeting between landlords and the Department for Infrastructure where they were asking for the removal of Wildflower Alley.
“This was very concerning for us, although we were very pleased to discover that this was rejected as it is now the Department’s policy to support the greening of alleyways.
“In all of our alleyway projects we have taken steps to ensure that the alleys are fully accessible, using vertical planters so that bins are not obstructed, but yet local landlords are putting up resistance to this.
“The Holylands is an area in need of regeneration and residents are working hard in order to deliver that and we feel we should be supported by everyone in order to achieve this.”
Belfast Live has contacted a representative of landlords in the Holylands who declined to comment on the alleyways.
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