Clarke urges for Planning Appeals Commission

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DUP South Antrim MLA Trevor Clarke has urged the Planning Appeals Commission to make a decision on Rathenraw temporary site for the travelling community.

Mr Clarke said: “This so called temporary site, has now run its time. The travelling community have been housed on the Rathenraw site since April 2014 and therefore I have to wonder just how long does ‘temporary’ mean?

“Throughout this long and slow process my only concerns have been the historic monument situated close to the site and ofcourse the residents of Rathenraw who have had to deal with this painful experience for almost 2 years. The PSNI have been called on many occasions, regarding many incidents yet no action has been taken, as the NIHE continue to disregard the concerns of the permanent residents.”

He added: “The NIHE continue to reiterate that this is only temporary, yet to my knowledge they have not made any attempt to find somewhere else. Whilst they say they are looking, no applications have been made for an alternative sites elsewhere. They have also spent large amounts of money on this site and yet they have now stated that they are also willing to landscape the area should the council’s decision be overturned. This is ludicrous, considering South Antrim as a whole are already lacking social housing and therefore this money could be used to provide more housing or at least repair the houses that are currently boarded up.”

Mr Clarke said: “It’s about time the Planning Appeals Commission take control of the situation and expedite their decision, as prolonging the decision is not fair to the residents who have to deal with this on a daily basis.