Drive thru refusal welcomed

East Belfast Alliance Assembly Member, CIlr Naomi Long, has described the decision of Planning Service to refuse an application for a drive thru KFC at 484 Upper Newtownards Road as a good decision for local residents.

Cllr Long, a member of Belfast City Council’s Town Planning Committee, said “I had a series of meetings with Planning Service in recent months to express my objections and those of other local residents to this application.

“This is primarily a residential area, reflected in the fact that the site is zoned for housing in the draft Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan. Construction of a drive thru restaurant would not only use up valuable land for potential new housing, but would have had a huge impact on the people living nearby, with all the noise, smells and traffic generated potentially generated by a drive thru.

“East Belfast, and Ballyhackamore in particular, has more than its fair share of take-aways, and the Planners have recognised that there is no defined local need for this drive thru. It could also have created a precedent for further non-residential uses in the area, and would have entirely changed the character of the area.

“When the application came to the Town Planning Committee last Thursday, with a recommendation from Planning Service that it should be refused, this was unanimously endorsed by myself and the other members of the Committee, on behalf of the Council. A refusal will now be issued in due course.

“As always, the developer may appeal this decision to the PAC, but I am delighted that the residents have the support of the Planners and the unanimous support of Belfast City Council in this case.”

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