‘Casement Park decision shows issues with area plan’

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Lisburn Councillor Alexander Redpath has hit out at Environment Minister Mark H Durkan after a High Court judge ruled his decision to approve planning permission for an expanded Casement Park was “fundamentally flawed”.

Mr Redpath said Mr Durkan had also made a flawed decision when he published the recent Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP) and placed severe restrictions on the sale of goods at Sprucefield, effectively ruling out the possibility of John Lewis building their first ever Northern Irish store in Lisburn.

Comparing the decision over Casement Park with that of BMAP, Mr Redpath: “In my view this is not the only fundamentally flawed decision.

“The Minister’s decision to approve the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan without the support of his executive colleagues in my view meets this description.

“I believe the Minister’s decision to do a solo run on this policy is legally questionable and potentially breaches the Ministerial Code.

“The Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan, if left in its current form, will have a profound impact on planning policy in the region. This plan fundamentally discriminates against Lisburn and severely restricts the continued development of Sprucefield.”