Campbell: Existing infrastructure won’t support new house build

Alliance Councillor Tom Campbell is prepared to step down from the Council’s planning committee in opposition to University of Ulster plans to build 600 homes on its Jordanstown Campus.

With a special planning meeting set to be held on July 2, the local Councillor – who represents the Jordanstown area – has said he will remove himself from the planning committee, following a written objection from the University alleging he was against the application and could not fairly consider it.

Councillor Campbell said: “When this application was launched there was a failure to consult local residents and I my main concern was that the scale and density of the application was not going to reflect its eventual shape and that after discussion and negotiation with the planners a much more sympathetic and realistic development would emerge.

“However, it is clear the University has not listened to the concerns expressed by the local community and seem to be more concerned with maximising a return, not about the legacy that the development will leave.

“This is the largest application that the new planning committee will have encountered so far and it is a shame that the University has not been willing to find a meaningful compromise been their requirements and the concerns if not opposition of local residents.”

“The pressures on local facilities, schools, parking and infrastructure, are such that granting permission for this development would create intolerable pressures on the local community making it unacceptable in its current form. Some of the development is placed too close to existing houses and will adversely affect the amenity of those properties. There are insufficient places in the local primary school to meet the demand from new owner occupiers and others may ironically be displaced from sending their children there by those new residents who may live closer to it.

“There is also insufficient green space in the development and the lack of car parking space is likely to aggravate car parking problems in adjacent local streets. When I met the developer’s representatives to discuss the proposals such concerns fell on entirely deaf ears.

“In the light of a failure to properly consult with local residents at the outset I was dismayed that when a deputation was received by the committee at its last meeting it objected to a special meeting to consider the views of both sides, which the Committee eventually determined was fair in the circumstances.”

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