New housing plan set to go to appeal

Lagan Valley MLA Edwin Poots
Lagan Valley MLA Edwin Poots

A long-running battle over plans for a new-build housing development in the Iniscarn area of Lisburn is to come before the Planning Appeals Commission next week.

For more than two years a group of local residents have been fighting plans by Habinteg Housing Association to build 10 apartments and a bungalow on an area of land south of Gortmore Park and Ardane Gardens.

Trevor Lunn MLA

Trevor Lunn MLA

The application for the project was turned down by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council’s Planning Committee earlier this year, but it is now set to go to appeal.

Local residents objecting to the plan are determined to fight the development and protect the existing area of green space.

Lagan Valley MLA Edwin Poots, who will represent the residents at the appeal hearing, commented: “I think the council’s Planning Committee arrived at the correct decision and I would urge Habinteg, even at this late stage, to pull back from the application and listen to the concerns of the residents.”

Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn, who will also represent the objectors at the appeal, said: “I spoke for them at the Planning Committee meeting and committee members were unanimous in supporting their view that the development shouldn’t go ahead and the area of green space should be preserved.”

The chairman of the council’s Planning Committee, Cllr Alexander Redpath, added: “This decision pre-dates my time on the committee. However I am confident that the committee made this decision with their usual thoroughness and attention to detail.

“The council will of course defend our decision and we will provide whatever information we are required to provide.”

The informal appeal hearing is scheduled to take place on November 30 at the offices of the Planning Appeals Commission in Belfast.