Concern over erection of flags outside social housing scheme

Anti-Protestant graffiti was painted on the wall of the new housing development at Mill Road last month.
Anti-Protestant graffiti was painted on the wall of the new housing development at Mill Road last month.

People on the waiting list for homes in a new social housing scheme have been left concerned after Irish tricolours were erected close to the development, a local councillor has claimed.

The development, which is currently under construction at the former Felden Training Centre site near Bawnmore, is due to be completed by the autumn.

Macedon Cllr Thomas Hogg claimed that the erection of the flags on Mill Road has caused concern among people on the waiting list for houses in the new development.

The appearance of the flags comes just weeks after anti-Protestant graffiti was painted on walls at the entrance to the site.

“It is my belief that there is a concerted effort being made by nationalist bigots to try and deter people from a unionist or Protestant background from applying for these homes,” Cllr Hogg said.

“I would encourage anyone who is in need of housing to apply for a house in the area, but I am worried that some people who would be entitled to homes based on their housing situation won’t apply or accept an offer after the recent incidents. This incident puts a question mark over why this scheme was ever agreed to in the first place,” the DUP representative added.

The new homes are being built by Clanmil Housing Association, who have stressed that the flags are on the Mill Road, and not on the site of the development.

A statement released by the group stated: “Work is progressing well on the construction of 97 much needed high quality new homes on the site of the former Felden campus in Newtownabbey.

“We are looking forward to the first families moving into the new homes in late summer and hope that the local community will make them feel welcome.”