News

Agent changes plans for Newry Road development

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

A REVISED planning application for over 200 homes on Banbridge's Newry
Road has been welcomed by the town's Chamber of Commerce.
Michael Donaghy, Chamber president, has welcomed the development
believing its location within walking distance of the town will give a
welcome boost to traders.
“We are delighted that the development contains a mixture of housing
types which could help new families get started on the property ladder,"
he said.
“It would assist in the growing evening economy as well as support the
exciting shops.
“Banbridge is proud of the number of independent retailers but like any
town it has suffered the blight of empty shop units and a growing number
of charity shops," added Mr Donaghy who hopes the new homes are granted
planning permission and there is a "spin-off for retailing and
hospitality in the town".
The new plans include significant changes after residents living near
the site close to the Rifle Park, home of Banbridge Rugby Club,
expressed concern during the original application consultation.
A revised planning application was submitted last month with a reduction
in the number of homes from 235 to 211 with other access amendments.
Planning permission for 235 homes on the same site had been lodged
last year, however, the application has since been changed after 40
objections were received from residents who live beside the proposed site.
The objectors raised concerns over the extra traffic the homes would
generate on the already busy Newry Road.
All residents of Rugby Avenue also signed a petition stating their
objection to the original application given there was a proposed access
road from their development for 15 new homes in the proposed 'Edenbrook'
development.
However last month Strategic Planning UK submitted a letter to planning
in addition to the revised application where they stated that as well as
having a reduction in the number of houses, the revised application also
gives them "an opportunity to address a number of issues raised by
consultees".
They added that they want the application to be progressed "to a
conclusion" and have specifically asked the Planning Authority to carry
out the re-consultations at their "earliest convenience".
Concerns had been raised over noise levels and drainage and flood risk
given that the plans involve the Fort Street stream to be piped
underground for a short length beneath a proposed access road onto the
Newry Road.
In the revised application, it has been confirmed that the original
proposed access into the site from Rugby Avenue has been removed and
there will be no direct access into the site from there with all traffic
accessing the site from the new entrance created off the Newry Road.
The proposed location of that main access point along the Newry Road has
also been relocated, which includes a right-hand turn lane, after
concerns were raised about its original location.
The agent hopes that by listening to some of the residents' concerns and
by making these amendments, the plans will now be approved by the
planning committee of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough
Council. However, objectors can still make comment on these new revised
plans.
This 35m investment includes dwellings of mixed-type housing size
which the agent says "keeps in with the established suburban residential
areas nearby".
The site, over nine hectares, will also see a stream running through the
development with open space, landscaping, buffer planting and also a
play-park.
It will also add 280,000 in rates to the borough when it is completed.
Alderman Ian Burns and Councillor Elizabeth Ingram also agreed that the
revised plans would be "good for Banbridge".
“It is clear that the developers and planners have taken time to listen
to the concerns of residents and have changed the plans to meet those
concerns," the UUP representatives said in a joint statement.
“There may well be other objections and these must be listened to and
valid action taken to address them. However, overall we feel positive
the developers will look at and address any issues that may arise and
this development will be good for Banbridge," they added.

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