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Mc Guinness pledges support for Legal Battle against Magherafelt Draft Area Plan

3 January, 2006


In pledging his support for the Legal Challenge against the Magherafelt Area Plan Mid-Ulster MP Martin Mc Guinness described it as a very important issue which will determine the future rural sustainability of the district.

Martin Mc Guinness said:

"In late September I led a delegation of Magherafelt District Councillors to meet with Direct Rule Minister, Jeff Rooker to discuss the detrimental effect the plan would have on the life of the district.

"I fully endorse the Legal challenge embarked on by Magherafelt District Council and a group of private developers against the strategic Environmental Assessment of this Draft Area Plan.

"The first stage of this appeal has been successful having been granted leave to appeal the Plan.

"As MP for the District and with the support of my Sinn Fein Colleagues and other Members of Magherafelt District Council I am committed to doing whatever is necessary to achieve a positive outcome from this legal challenge.

"I concur with local Consultants and developers in the opinion that Planning Service is wrong in its approach to the future of Magherafelt district. Planning Service intention to restrict the number of new homes in the district during the next generation would have a seriously detrimental effect on the future rural sustainability of the District. As opposed to projected new development of one new home per 55 people in the 26 Counties and one new home per 125 people in England this plan has a projected new build for the Magherafelt District of one home per 750. This is a Plan would see house prices inflated and first time buyers having to purchase outside the District. This is unacceptable."ENDS

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