McDonough Brown: Community consultation is key ahead of Gasworks development

Alliance Councillor Emmet McDonough Brown has said a planning committee decision to defer a decision on plans for a controversial office block in the gasworks will give more time for community engagement.

Councillor McDonough Brown said that while the gasworks has the potential for further development, this must only be undertaken through open and honest consultation channels with local residents, with social housing being made a priority to meet demand in the local area.

He added: “This is a clear example that the Alliance Party is always listening and ready to support local residents and I thank everyone who took the time to engage with me on this contentious issue.

“Belfast is undergoing a renaissance, but in our rush to continue development in a bid to attract new projects, we cannot ignore the views of the people who have built the area, making it what it is today.

“The Market community are valued in this decision making process and I recognise that residents are worried about precedents being set and the loss of potential sites for social housing. The demand is very strong in the area and residents have a legitimate desire to see housing provided in the area. It is possible to develop the Market community and also the Gasworks; with the right development everyone can win.

“While this deferral kicks the decision further down the road, it will have to be dealt with and I would ask anyone with further views to please get in touch. Alliance will never shy away from its desire to deliver for everyone in the community.”

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