‘Plans for UUJ site not right for Jordanstown’

Cllr Tom Campbell
Cllr Tom Campbell

The University of Ulster’s plan to build 600 homes at its Jordanstown campus would “destroy the natural amenity of the area”, it has been claimed.

Responding to the publication of the planning application and environmental statement relating to the university’s ambitious redevelopment masterplan, the chairman of Newtownabbey Council’s Planning Committee has branded the proposals “utterly unacceptable” and “an unrealistic overdevelopment of the site”.

Late last year the university unveiled its vision for the future of the Jordanstown campus ahead of its move to new facilities in Belfast.

The £50million masterplan will see the university retain and invest in its sports facilities in Jordanstown along with the student halls of residence and specialist fire safety and research facility. However, the main campus building and car parks will be replaced with a residential development of 600 homes and a new village centre with retail and commercial units.

Despite the university’s assertion that the new housing will create an “exciting and vibrant” place to live, councillor Campbell said he is “extremely concerned about the scale and density of the proposal”. And he accused university bosses of failing to consult with the local community “in a meaningful manner”.

“In planning for a development of this size and density it is imperative that there is proper consultation with those who are to be tasked with policing it,” the Alliance man commented.

“This scale of development, if granted, will destroy the natural amenity of Jordanstown and is out of character with the housing that exists in the area. This will add to existing pressures on local services such as oversubscribed schools and the traffic will be significantly increased to cope with the burdens created by this number of extra local residents and their cars.”

The Jordanstown man added: “Given that the university has already submitted these plans at a time when it was reasonably anticipated that they would be further consulting with the local community I would be pessimistic about any rethink. As the plans currently stand they are an utterly unacceptable and an unrealistic overdevelopment of its Jordanstown campus site.”

The planning application and associated environmental statement can be viewed online on the Planning NI Web Portal at www.planningni.gov.uk