CASTLEREAGH Alliance has said that the decision by Regional Development Minister Angela Smith to refuse planning permission for a supermarket at Hydebank playing fields is a “victory for people power”.
South Belfast representative Councillor Geraldine Rice said: “I am delighted with this decision to stop this unnecessary and unwanted development. The proposals for this supermarket were opposed across the political spectrum and by hundreds of residents in the area.
“Alliance fought long and hard against this decision, which would have had a negative impact on those who regularly use these playing fields, as well as the environment.
“I am only disappointed that Tesco is going ahead with a development at Newtownbreda. I believe that another supermarket in the area will have a detrimental effect on Carryduff shopping centre and the people who use it.
“More consideration must be given to these plans before they go ahead.”
Councillor Sara Duncan, who represents the area in which Hydebank playing fields are situated, said: “This was always about more than just some playing fields. Hydebank is a recreational green space in an increasingly built-up area. It is used by all sections of the community, and is somewhere that kids can come for a safe kickabout and people can walk their dogs.
“The overwhelming majority of my constituents will welcome this decision, which came about as a result of much lobbying and hard work.”