Alliance Party Councillor for Pottinger, Maire Hendron who has been supportive of the residents’ objections said: “Although it became apparent to me some time ago that the residents were not going to succeed in stopping this development, I am very disappointed that in the entire process of objecting none of the statutory bodies i.e. Roads Service, the Planning Department, the PSNI, nor the Environmental Health Department of Belfast City Council could offer any solution to the difficulties these people suffer on a regular basis from illegal parking, traffic congestion, noise and anti social behaviour.
“There is no doubt that the building of these stands which will be very close to them will interfere with the amenity of many of the homes in the area.
“It is not good enough for anyone to say that these people knew the consequences of purchasing their homes so near a rugby ground. In recent years the climate has changed and fans are not as considerate of the neighbourhood as they used to be – they park their much larger vehicles with little respect for residents, there is much more alcohol consumed and consequently there is more noise, litter and antisocial behaviour than previously.
“In recent years there has been intensification of the use of the Rugby Grounds to the detriment of the neighbourhood and as a result of this decision, that will not abate. The residents fear that the new hospitality facilities will encourage increased use of the premises in the absence of adequate steps being taken to reduce the nuisance.
“I would call upon Roads Service and the PSNI to take all necessary steps to address the fears and concerns of the residents by regulating and diverting non local vehicular traffic in that area. In addition it is clearly necessary for the police to have a much higher profile on match days to deter and counter anti social behaviour.”