19/12/2003

Planning application sought for relocation of Rathgael

An outline planning application has been lodged this week today on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office as part of its plans for the relocation of the Juvenile Justice Centre at Rathgael.

The outline planning application is seeking permission for private developers to be allowed to build residential properties and a day nursery on about 28 acres (11.5 hectares) of the land owned by the NIO at Rathgael.

The application is linked to plans to relocate the Juvenile Justice Centre on the site and to dispose of the remaining surplus land.

The main features of the outline planning proposals are:
  • up to 400 homes to be built comprising a mix of detached and semi-detached houses, townhouses and apartments;
  • a new day nursery to serve child care needs arising from the new development and the surrounding area;
  • retaining the existing woodland areas and the lake in its woodland setting;
  • new amenity and formal open space and enhanced planting around the boundary of the new development;
  • interconnected streets for walking, cycling and with access to buses
  • using the existing and a new access onto Rathgael Road and using existing access onto Newtownards Road.
In May, NIO lodged an outline planning application to relocate the existing Juvenile Justice Centre to an adjoining site at Rathgael. This application is still being considered.

At present, the NIO owns about 57 acres at Rathgael but the new centre will require approximately ten acres and it is intended that the money raised from the disposal of the surplus land will part fund the construction of the new Juvenile Justice Centre.

The need for the new centre was decided by then Northern Ireland Office Minister Adam Ingram in November 2000 following public consultation and informed by a recommendation in the Review of the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland.

(MB)

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