Cllr Rice was speaking after Alex Attwood revealed yesterday (Thursday) that he had given the okay for the demolition of the existing Carryduff Shopping Centre and its replacement with a mixed-use development, consisting of 19 shopping units and 150 apartments above them.
The Carryduff councillor said she was not opposed to the shopping element of the proposed centre but rather the creation of so many new homes in the already-congested Carryduff area.
“The people of Carryduff have long wanted and deserved a vibrant shopping centre to help promote the creation of a heart in the community. However, this is not that. The fact over 2,000 objections were lodged by local people is evidence that this is not what is needed here.
“The department has gone against the Carryduff public’s desire in this instance and pushed through the building of yet more apartments, despite the fact many homes here are currently lying empty.
“Seeing so many new apartments built so closely to the busy Ballynahinch Road will also bring an additional burden to one of the main arterial routes into Belfast, a road which is already heavily congested each day, and will inevitably increase the chances of road accidents occurring there.”