New housing scheme likely to go ahead, despite road safety concerns

PLANNERS look set to give the green light for a new housing development in the Bawnmore area along the Shore Road, despite concerns being raised by local councillors about parking and road safety issues.

Planning Service has recommended approval for the 38 new dwellings and associated parking on land at Dandy Street, Newtown Gardens, Mount Street and Shore Road. But it’s likely that planning consent will not be issued until councillors have the opportunity to meet with Roads Service officials to discuss concerns about the creation of parking bays along the busy Shore Road - just yards from the motorway sliproad.

At the monthly meeting of the full council on Monday evening (July 9), councillor Thomas Hogg revealed that Roads Service had turned down a recent request for a meeting with Macedon councillors to discuss their concerns and called for the matter to be deferred again.

Planning Officer John Davison informed the meeting that Roads Service had considered the plan and had deemed it “acceptable in terms of traffic management and road safety.” He added that there were “absolutely no grounds” to defer the application any further.

Several other members, including Macedon councillors Billy Webb and John Scott, said that while they recognised the need for more housing in the area, Roads Service needed to look again at the development and the potential road safety issues associated with creating parking bays along the Shore Road.

Councillor Gerry O’Reilly and alderman Paul Girvan both stressed that Roads Service had no issues with the application and echoed the Planning Officer’s viewpoint that there were no grounds for deferral. However, the DUP man suggested that planning consent could be held by the Planning Office until local representatives had the opportunity to air their views with Roads Service.

After several members expressed concern that the council, as a consultee, was seemingly being “snubbed”, it was agreed that the Chief Executive should write to Roads Service to formally request a meeting. Should that request be declined, the Chief Executive will write to the Minister for Regional Development.

Both councillor Hogg and councillor Scott told the meeting that they wanted it put on record that they were opposed to the planners’ approval recommendation.

“If someone who buys one of these properties is faced with this roads nightmare, or worse, then it won’t be on my head,” councillor Hogg said.