Outrage over Hillsborough’s new apartments

Residents in Hillsborough are outraged that planning permission has been granted for new apartments at Lisburn Street in the village and are calling on the Planning Minister to overturn the decision.

The go-ahead was given for the erection of two residential buildings comprising 10 apartments at land to the rear of Lisburn Street, despite 42 letters of objection lodged with the Planning Service, opposing the development.

When the application was lodged last year, residents had expressed grave concerns about private access being granted from the apartments into the adjacent children’s playpark.

They also voiced concern about access into the development, particularly for the Fire Brigade and utilities vehicles.

Nessa O’Callaghan from the Hillsborough Strategy Group said they were “very unhappy” about the decision to let the development go ahead.

“The play park is our greatest concern,” she said.

“The people who will live in this development will be able to watch the children in the playpark.

“They will also have access to the park through a private gate when it is closed to the public.

“Anyone using the park, including parents and grandparents with their children will be filmed on CCTV cameras attached to the new buildings and that is against our human rights.”

Mrs O’Callaghan is also concerned about access in and out of the new development.

“The Fire Brigade will not be able to get into the development,” she claimed.

“An architect has measured the entrance and it is not adequate to accommodate a fire engine.

“There is no turning point there so what happens if a vehicle breaks down? And what will happen to the bins from these apartments?

“A bin lorry will not go down there. This is an unapproved road and a bin lorry will not drive down to collect the bins. So will residents be walking bins up the vehicular entryway or out through the playpark to the war memorial?”

Mrs O’Callaghan said she would be seeking a meeting with the new Chief Executive of Lisburn City and Castlereagh Borough Council, Theresa Donaldson, as a matter of urgency to discuss the situation.

Councillor Alexander Redpath said he was concerned the application had been given the go-ahead.

“I am very concerned that the planning service passed this application despite dozens of objections by residents and concerns being raised by local councillors.

“Hillsborough is an area of unique architectural importance and I believe these apartments are ill situated and completely out of character with the area.

“Applications like this are the reason why I welcome enhanced planning powers being transferred to Lisburn and Castlereagh Council.”