Our Proposed Greenway Network

The Corporate Plan 2020-24 | Ards and North Down Borough Council recognises that Ards and North Down has a unique environment that we must strive to cherish.  The plan also commits to supporting the physical and emotional well-being of our residents by developing infrastructure and services that improve access to this environment. 

One way that we are seeking to deliver on these objectives, as well as realising a range of other economic and social benefits for the area, is through the development of a Greenway Network.

The Borough already benefits from a greenway route; the Comber Greenway, which connects the town of Comber to the centre of Belfast.  This was, in fact, Northern Ireland’s first greenway, created in 2008, and has proved so successful it has provided a template for other greenway development across the island of Ireland. 

In 2016 the Department for Infrastructure produced Exercise, Explore, Enjoy – A Strategic Plan for Greenways in Northern Ireland (Exercise Explore Enjoy: A Strategic Plan for Greenways | Department for Infrastructure (infrastructure-ni.gov.uk).  In the context of this plan, we are currently progressing with proposals for three greenway routes in Ards and North Down.

Combined, these proposals represent a total investment of £20M in green infrastructure.  It is envisaged that 50% of this will be met by the Department for Infrastructure.

Each proposal has been through a process of public consultation and is at a different stage of development.  Please click on the links below to see the full details for each route. 

  • Proposed Greenway: Comber to Newtownards (connecting with the existing Comber Greenway)  Planning Refs: LA06/2019/0308/F and LA06/2019/0544/F  
  • Proposed Greenway - Newtownards to Green Road (providing a link to the Somme Museum at Whitespots)  Planning Refs: LA06/2020/0940/F and LA06/2021/0885/F
  • Proposed Greenway - Kinnegar to Donaghadee (via the North Down Coastal Path)  Planning Ref: LA06/2020/0530/F (Planning application withdrawn)
  • Proposed Greenway- Green Road to Donaghadee (yet to be designed)

Constructing new or extending/ enhancing existing routes to create a network of greenways that connect across our Borough is an exciting and ambitious project that we believe will deliver many BENEFITS.  The network will provide free recreational opportunities for all ages and abilities, encourage healthier lifestyles, bolster local economic development, reduce car trips and carbon footprints, provide additional transportation options, and encourage better environmental stewardship.

There is a significant public interest in the proposals and during our consultations to date we have received many queries about how our greenways will be developed and managed; how sustainability and safety factors will be addressed; and how the needs of different users will be met.  We have collated a series of FAQs to answer many of these questions.  Please follow the link to review this information.    

Council has also committed to operating the One Path Initiative, which has successfully helped many greenways to support the needs of different users and promote positive actions and behaviour by all.  Read more about the One Path Initiative here.   

Want to be inspired by some great examples of greenways and their benefits in other places?  Click this link - Wider Greenways Network - to learn more about other local greenways and the growing network across Northern Ireland and beyond. 

As previously stated, our proposals are currently at different stages of development. Planning permission for Newtownards to Green Road (Phase 1), Belvedere Road, Newtownards to the Somme Heritage Centre, Bangor Road, Newtownards was granted on 1 September 2022.  

Work will be delivered in phases as and when funding is available over the next 10 years. 

For more information please contact greenways.network@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk