Carmel opposes new barracks development

South Belfast councillor Carmel Hanna has expressed serious concerns over a proposed new development of 75 apartments on the Malone Road Area.

The development, one of the largest in South Belfast, will be at the former British army barracks on 44 Windsor Park.

Developers, the McGinnis Group, have seen their proposal meet with approval by the Planning Service providing they "hear and take on board all views before a final decision is reached."

Speaking yesterday, Councillor Hanna MLA said: "I would have hoped that the local community would have had more say on the matter.

"While I do believe that we need more housing, I don’t think that it’s acceptable to build something of this size in this area. There is too much of this kind of property being built as it is."

The Planning Service confirmed that they had consulted with Roads Service and a Conservation Area architect , as well as meeting with local residents.

“We have listened to all views expressed and there is satisfaction that the development will not cause demonstrable harm,” said a Planning Service spokesperson.

But Cllr Hanna believes that the development will have a serious impact on the area.

"I am very concerned that it will lead to an unwelcome increase in traffic.

“And among other things, it will also have a negative impact on the Malone Conservation Area.

"It’s not that I have a problem with people living there, but I feel that the area would be better served with family housing and not block apartments, which by their very nature do not add to a sense of community.

"We all know that these kind of ventures are purely there to make as much money as possible for the developers. They certainly have very little benefit to the community as a whole.

"I would like to think that the planners would occasionally take a firmer hand with these kind of development proposals rather than just let them pass through all the time."

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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