SOUTH Down MLA Seán Rogers and Newcastle area Councillor Eamonn O’Neill have met with the Planning Service in regarding the planning application for social housing at Donard Street, Newcastle.
Mr Rogers said: “We had a good meeting with the Planning Service as it gave me a further opportunity to stress the reasons why I believe the Donard Street site to be unsuitable for housing potentially 52 people.
“My unequivocal support for social housing and the need for additional provision, particularly in Newcastle, is on record. However, this specific site is unsuitable.
“I understand the traffic statistics that were forwarded to the Planning Service by the Roads Service relate to 2008. I pressed upon the official that up-to-date statistics must be considered and these figures need to reflect the seasonal fluctuations within the town. I also highlighted the knock-on effect that such a development would have on parking provision and the drop off/collection area at Newcastle Primary School which has serious road safety elements for the children.
“The development is situated in an area that is very much business orientated. There are 16 letters of objection along with three petitions from 174 local people who are totally opposed to this development. I have serious concerns about the impact that such a development would have on traffic and parking provision within the town and I stressed this to the Planning Official, as this application is wrong for the residential and commercial life of Newcastle.”
Councillor O’Neill added: “I very much welcomed the opportunity to discuss the application and voice the local community’s total objection to this proposal. This site is completely unsuitable for such a volume of housing.
“In relation to the traffic statistics, I queried if these figures were pre or post the new traffic system which evidently sees much more traffic on Donard Street than in years gone by.
“I hope that following this meeting the Planners have a total re-think as the application is wrong for the people of Newcastle and cannot proceed on such antiquated figures.”