Killyleagh residents “banging heads against ‘Berlin’ wall”

ALLIANCE Assembly member Alderman Kieran McCarthy is to lead a delegation to meet with the Minister responsible for the Environment, Angela Smith MP, to discuss why nothing has been done to remove a massive wall built in Killyleagh without planning permission.

Mr McCarthy and four residents from Strangford View and the local community association will be meeting Ms Smith on Wednesday morning at 9.30am in Castle Buildings, Stormont estate.

Mr McCarthy stated:

“Although the Minister has ordered this wall, which has no planning permission, to be removed by the developer, it is still in place. It is simply incredible that a developer can build a 45” high wall so close to homes without any penalty or the law being enforced.

“The ‘Berlin Wall’, as it has been dubbed, is an eyesore, blocks out light and is causing local residents stress, as it dominates their skyline.

“It appears that developers who flout the regulations can get away with impunity when they ignore the lack of planning permission.

“Or if they obtain it, there is no third party right to appeal. Even if permission is refused by the Planning Service, the Appeals Committee is more likely than not to overturn that.

“The laws, rules and regulations are stacked against the ordinary person, and a blind eye is often turned to the activities of unscrupulous developers. It is not too much to ask that the law be fair and to be applied fairly – but at the minute the residents feel like they are – almost literally – banging their collective heads against a brick wall.”

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