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We shall not be moved!

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

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A ST Clare's Avenue resident has said that he would be willing to sit in the middle of the road to prevent developers commencing work at Lindsay Hill.
Rathfriland based company Calmore Properties Limited have planning permission to build 14 units of social housing at Lindsay Hill, together with a new access road, which will take the form of a bridge linking St Clare's Avenue to the new development.
The application was previously refused by the planning committee of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, after objections were raised by local residents.
Among those objections are the anti-social behaviour that the construction of a bridge may encourage, a marked increase in traffic on St Clare's Avenue and what is considered by residents to be a disregard for the historical significance of one of Newry's oldest areas.
Calmore Properties Limited appealed this refusal to the Planning Appeals Commission last month and that appeal was upheld, paving the way for the development.
Last Thursday night, a public meeting was organised by residents at the Threeways Community Centre on High Street, to discuss their next move.
Mr Jim Flynn has been among those at the forefront of the campaign, and he spoke to the Democrat.
“The meeting went well," said Mr Flynn. "Newry Historical Society were there, Newry Maritime Association were there, there were people there from all over the town and that's the first time I've seen that."
Political representatives at the meeting included Mickey Brady MP, Justin McNulty MLA, and councillors Charlie Casey and Liz Kimmins, who chaired the meeting.
“They're going to arrange a meeting with the council planning to see if they're going to challenge this decision with a Judicial Review," continued Mr Flynn. "And if not, we're going to get a Judicial Review among ourselves.
“I think when the council turned the planning application down on historical grounds - they shouldn't accept it being overturned. They should fight it anyway.
“Everybody is saying that the council should fight it [because] they turned it down [initially]."
The Democrat contacted the council with the concerns of Mr Flynn that they had "failed miserably" to uphold their own decision in this matter.
The council responded through a spokesperson, and said: "Newry, Mourne and Down District Council notes the decision of the Planning Appeals Commission to grant planning permission for the social housing scheme.
“Local residents are encouraged to use the formal mechanisms established by the Council if they have any concerns about the manner in which this matter was handled. The Council would very much welcome direct engagement with residents.
“Council officers presented a robust planning defence of the decision to refuse planning permission."
Responding to the council's assertion that a "robust" planning defence had been presented, Mr Flynn commented: "There was no robust defence - it was a joke.
“The council's representative was just outmatched (at the Planning Appeals Commission).
“It's the duty of the council to fight it and if not - we can take them to court.
“They're talking about putting cars across the road and everything - if anybody does come up to start.
“If they do come up to start, I'll be out in front of them anyway."

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