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‘Scrap-heap’ challenge for Coleraine Harbour lands

31 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Coleraine Cllr Billy Leonard has said that as preparations for a change in legislation on the operation of Coleraine Harbour take place, "it is time to make the change from scrap-heaps to progress".

Cllr Leonard, who served as a Harbour Commissioner and has lobbied for balanced development of the area, said:

"Coleraine cannot be held to ransom by those who are happy with scrap-heaps at the side of the river rather than progress

"The importance of the river cannot be understated therefore this is a vital time as changing the law as to how the port and land will be used in the future gives the opportunity to combine the interests of port activity, tourism and community housing.

"I have already communicated with the Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy, who will have responsibility for this legislative change.

"I believe and have campaigned for a long time now for a balanced use of this vitally important segment of land. We have to be serious about the level of business conducted at the port, the potential for tourism, throughout Ireland and beyond, and the need for the local community to be involved especially in terms of housing.

"Legislation can define how all this is classified and how things will operate. The Harbour Commission, Council and all other interested parties have now got to be very serious and be prepared to look at the bigger picture.

"There will not be a better or more important opportunity than now." ENDS

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