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Sinn Féin welcome announcement on Portadown development

25 January, 2007

Sinn Féin Upper Bann MLA, John O'Dowd has said that the local community will welcome the decision by the Department of Social Development, announced today, to commence a process to acquire derelict lands at Curran Street and Obins Street in Portadown.

Mr O'Dowd said,

"This is an issue on which I and my party have been lobbying for some considerable time and I am glad that we are at last starting to see movement in addressing the need for the redevelopment of this area.

"Since the demolition of old housing in this area back in the 1970's, government departments and statutory agencies have had over thirty years to come with viable plans for the development of this major site, and putting in quite bluntly, they failed to do so.

"During that same period, local community organisations also put forward a number of proposals which could have resulted in the regeneration and redevelopment of the Obins Street/Curran Street area, and those in authority chose to ignore them.

"Hopefully, that is now going to change, and the decision by the DSD to commence the acquisition of lands at this site, which is adjacent to the railway station and the town centre can prove to be the impetus needed for a major transformation of this area.

"Certainly, the acquisition of the Obins Street/Curran Street and its eventual development must take into account the needs and aspirations of the local community. It is important that the local community's views are central to any regeneration of the area, and in that respect, I know that there will be great insistence that the provision of both social and affordable housing forms a major part of any development." ENDS

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