GREEN Party Councillor Cadogan Enright has welcomed the favorable outcome of a meeting last Friday 16th between Ballyhornan Task Force members with the planning services to create the start of a Village Centre for Ballyhornan.
The meeting took place at Down District Councils HQ on the Strangford Road in Downpatrick. The Task Force was set up to address the many infrastructural issues facing the Ballyhornan area after the withdrawal of RAF Bishopscourt in the early Nineties.
Cllr Enright said, “The Planning Service has confirmed that they will be recommending the new Garage, petrol station and shop for acceptance at the next Council meeting. This project will play a vital part in the regeneration of Ballyhornan and district. There are insufficient shopping facilities in the area and residents have to drive for up to six miles for petrol”.
“Cllr Liam Johnston added, “I was pleased to second Cllr Enright’s motion in Council on behalf of all local parties calling for the Planning Service to recognize the exceptional nature of community separation and underdevelopment at Ballyhornan and that planning approval be granted for the proposed service station near to Bishopscourt.”
Local man Sean Fitzsimons, a committee member from Killard, said that the hard work and dedication of architect Joe Walsh and most especially Bill Price needed to be recognized. Task Force member John McGreevy supported this and said, “We thank them, Council staff and local politicians for their support and especially councillors Cadogan Enright and Liam Johnston for showing up here today and for organizing the cross-party motion on council. We thank MP Margaret Ritchie for her ongoing support along with MLA Willie Clarke who showed up today and has been very active in supporting the Task Force”
Cllr Enright said, “Following discussion at Task Force meetings, I also arranged a second cross-party motion in Council requesting the Planning Service to adjust the ‘settlement limits’ and allow the development of a Village Centre around the proposed new filling station at Bishops Court. I can confirm that this was done and that the Council is asking the Minister of the Environment to adjust the settlement limits to allow for development of the centre and for the disparate parts of the village to be more joined-up. This motion was also seconded by Liam Johnston and supported by all parties”.
“Large areas of land under concrete or with derelict RAF buildings are a feature of underdevelopment at Ballyhornan. These are often mis-labeled ‘green-belt’ or ‘agricultural’ by the Planning Service which prevents the development of a village centre. I welcome this change of attitude and the recommendation to Council that we accept planning approval be granted for the proposed service station near to Bishops Court.”