Council backs use of townland names

BALLYMONEY Council has backed the promotion of the use of townland names in addresses in the borough.

The Department of Environment wrote to the council following on a motion passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly in the past calling on government departments to adopt a policy on using and promoting townland names in all government correspondence and official documents.

The Minister of the Environment Alex Attwood has committed to driving the use and promotion of townland names and is encouraging councils to make full use of the Pointer system to include townland names when addressing all correspondence and to work together in sharing ideas and best practice towards promoting and developing policy on the use of townland names.

Ballymoney Council is on record as supporting the use of townland names in addresses.

The Chief Executive of the council advised members recently on the council’s policy on the matter, dating back to 1977, arising from consideration of representations from the Federation of Ulster Local Studies and the Ulster Farmers Union. T

he argument put forward was that townlands are an essential element in affirming local identity and the help of councils was sought in keeping them alive and council agreed to do so by:

* Including townlands in addresses alongside road name and post code in its correspondence.

* Using relevant townlands in all naming schemes for council facilities, community centres, playgrounds etc.

* Ensuring housing developments, industrial sites and roads are named after relevant townlands.

It is also the policy of council, under its Naming of Streets and Numbering of Properties policy, that an application for a street name should, first and foremost, show some connection with the local townland in which the street is located (e.g. the history, heritage or environment of the townland).

At a recent meeting it was proposed by Councillor John Finlay, seconded by Alderman Frank Campbell and agreed to recommend that council reaffirm its position as supporting the use of townland names as outlined above.