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Social and Affordable housing building blocks of new communities - Boylan

23 September, 2008


Speaking in the Assembly on a motion on 'Planning in Residential areas', Sinn Féin planning spokesperson, Cathal Boylan said;

'Last October we debated the practice known as "garden grabbing" a practice of replacing homes and gardens by high occupancy town houses and apartment blocks. Thankfully the Minister has committed to address this issue to ensure that back gardens are not interpreted in the category of 'brownfield' sites.'

'This exercise of cramming new housing developments into residential areas is not a suitable way to alleviate the housing pressures; it takes away from the local character and also the environmental and social quality of life of residents and communities.'

'Sinn Féin had called for these practices to be monitored to ensure that proper design and suitable housing should be kept in context with its area and surrounds.'

The MLA for Newry and Armagh continued;

'Current planning policies should be amended to explicitly protect the character of our existing residential areas which recently have been under threat from inappropriate densities of new residential development.

Social and affordable housing should form the building blocks of our new communities.'

'Research has shown that mixed income / mixed tenure communities have been a success. Residents see their neighbours as 'ordinary people', young families are attracted to live there and problems often associated with low income, working class areas, purposefully neglected for many years by British direct rulers, do not occur.'

'Future developments must be sustainable in many ways. They must be accessible to existing infrastructure and facilities; they must provide good quality living accommodation across a mix of tenures in such a way that will lead to successful and vibrant communities.'

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