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Coherent approach to Andersonstown barracks site ‘in order’

20 November, 2007

West Belfast MP Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Féin has said that a new study of regeneration in Andersonstown can safeguard the iconic status of the site of old Andersonstown RUC barracks.

Mr Adams said:

"A strategy for genuine regeneration in west Belfast is what Sinn Féin has been advocating since the publication of the West Belfast and Shankill Task Force reports in February 2002. The onus for implementing the Task Force recommendations still rests on government departments. Their tardiness must end.

"The suggestion that the West Belfast & Shankill Enterprise Council will undertake a feasibility study in the Andersonstown area will be welcome if it adds more coherence to the regeneration of this area. Our party will be meeting the Enterprise Council on this.

"Sinn Féin has already proposed that the use of any land in the area of the Glenmona site and in the vicinity of the upper Glen Road and Hannahstown needs to be part of a strategic approach. Sinn Fein is for building communities, which means more than building dwellings. Throughout west Belfast, we are on watch for misuse of land, whether that is in public or private hands.

"In relation to the site of the old Andersonstown RUC Barracks, it is clear that a mistake was made by the Minister for Social Development. A decision was taken without the appropriate and necessary consultation and her department has been dithering on this issue. The Minister appears not to know how to undo the mess created by her original decision to sell off this iconic public site.

"The site of the old Andersonstown RUC Barracks site is presently the focus of a consultation by the West Belfast Partnership Board. Their work in engaging local residents, which the Department failed to do, will underpin any coherent approach to regeneration in the Andersonstown area. Sinn Féin wants to see the site developed for a public, community or social use to be determined through effective consultation with the local community." ENDS

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