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Ó Donnghaile: “Short Strand community will oppose high density apartments”

2 November, 2010

Sinn Féin Representative for Pottinger Niall Ó Donnghaile this morning joined other community and political representatives in objecting to a planning application for 32 apartments on the Mountpottinger Road.

Niall, who is also a member of the Short Strand Partnership Board said;

“The application for 32 high density and five storey apartments to be crammed onto such a sparse piece of land is totally opposed by the community in the Short Strand. Yes, we need more housing in the area but we need homes that will add to the community, homes that are suitable for families.

The Short Strand Partnership Board has a strategic overview for the development of this area; if allowed to be developed these apartments would fly in the face of those plans, which are about utilising existing and potential sites for greater community cohesion and sustainability, better housing, improving community safety as well as physical and environmental regeneration throughout the Short Strand.

Much of those plans are beginning to be realised with, for example, the ongoing demolition of Mountpottinger Barracks, the recent site visit by and support from the DRD Minister Conor Murphy for development at the Translink Bus Depot site and ongoing work with Belfast City Council and the Housing Executive to improve the physical appearance of the area.

It is generally accepted by local community organisations that this application is simply about the owners maximising profit at such a difficult economic time and that the building of these apartments is highly unlikely; this may well be the case but the reality is that the threat of a development like this will still hang over the Short Strand people.

I commit myself to working with all the stakeholders, but in particular Saint Matthews Housing Association, to ensure that this site, like others in the district, will in the future be used for suitable, community orientated development.” CRÍOCH

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