Hillview decision will deny hundreds a decent home – Ní Chuilín
Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson and North Belfast MLA Caral Ni Chuilin has strongly criticised a decision by some members of the Planning Committee of Belfast City Council to create a retail only development of for the Hillview site in North Belfast.
Speaking following the vote on Tuesday night, Carál Ní Chuilín said:
“The proposal passed by Belfast City Council for the Hillview site on the Crumlin Road fails to address the varied and complex needs of this deprived North Belfast community.
“I and others in Sinn Féin have worked alongside local residents, other parties, housing campaigners and local traders to publicly voice our objections to this plan for a retail-only development at the 17-acre Hillview site.
“In our view this was a prime opportunity for a mixed development in an area where available land is at an absolute premium.
“In advance of tonight’s disastrous decision, Sinn Féin wrote to the Housing Executive requesting that they use their vesting powers to bring the site into public usage. It should be used to tackle the needs of local people including social homes on the site.
“This is an area ranking high on deprivation indices and public bodies have a duty to invest in communities and not leave development of a site like this to the private sector alone.
“We don’t need car show rooms and fast food outlets at Hillview, we need accessible amenities, community facilities and decent social housing for citizens in North Belfast.
“A decent home is a human right, and tonight this right was denied to hundreds of families on the housing waiting list. Sinn Féin will be engaging with residents to determine what steps can now be taken to fight this decision.”