07/09/2010

Council Steps Up Pressure For Newtownards Planning Enquiry

Ards Borough Council is stepping up the pressure to ensure that a vital public inquiry into three major retail planning applications for Newtownards is prioritised.

News that a planning inquiry for Belfast City Airport has been deferred, but that a new North/South Connector project will require one, has prompted the Council to contact both the Planning Appeals Commission and the Planning Service to stress that the Newtownards-based inquiries should be promoted to second on the inquiry timetable after Sprucefield.

While Chairman of the Council's Development Committee, Councillor Angus Carson, said Newtownards was not standing still awaiting the outcome of the inquiries, he stressed the urgent need for formal decisions on planning applications at Castle Bawn, Ards Shopping Centre and in the town centre.

"The launch of the Newtownards Master Plan in June this year shows that we are forging ahead with schemes for the town's development and regeneration, but until decisions are made on these large retail proposals, we are being denied revenue, jobs and increased visitor numbers that would be of enormous benefit not just to Newtownards itself, but the wider local economy," said Councillor Carson. "We must have clear information on the timetabling of the public inquiries for Newtownards and the Council will continue to lobby until the issue is resolved".

(CD/KMcA)

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