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Dundrum Road housing development planning concerns

30 March, 2007

South Down Assembly Member Willie Clarke has written to Planning Service seeking assurances about a proposed application for a housing development on the Dundrum Road in Newcastle.

Mr Clarke said:

"It is my understanding that an application has been made for the building of 99 houses and apartments at a site on the Dundrum Road in Newcastle. Whilst things are at a very early stage, I have urged Planning to consider a number of issues such as the significant impact on the local sewage and water infrastructure should this scheme be given the green light. Such a major development could have serious implication for other residential areas in the area, particularly the Mourneview Estate which is already badly affected by problems with flooding.

"An increase of nearly 100 new homes would also significantly increase the volume of traffic on the Dundrum Road which is a very busy arterial route into and out of the town that becomes even more congested during the summer months. Any decision would need therefore, to consider the impact on road usage and better traffic calming measures, including the installation of a pedestrian crossing, would be a necessary requirement.

"I have argued that 20% of this development should consist of affordable housing which could then be made available to local first time buyers who are being increasingly priced out of the housing market as a result of rising house prices.

"On a related matter, the decision by Planning Service to grant permission for a telephone mast on the site of the old Murlough Water Works site has caused considerable anger amongst many local residents. This decision was taken despite widespread opposition to having a base station located at this site which places it in close to proximity to a number of built-up residential areas which may soon have an additional 99 houses.

"I have urged Planning Service to review their decision to allow the erection of this mast and have it removed as it is a potential health hazard and situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty." ENDS

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