Belfast Telegraph

Anger over QUB plans for homes in Lagan parkland

By Linda Stewart

Plans by Queen’s University to build 14 luxury homes at a greenfield site in Lagan Valley Regional Park could set a dangerous precedent, it has been warned.

The Planning Service has granted outline planning permission for the university to build the homes as part of a major sporting development at its playing fields off Upper Malone Road — even though planners admitted they would be setting aside planning policies protecting green space in the process.

In doing so it went against a full council vote by Belfast City Council which recommended refusal for the planning application, which includes eight detached dwellings and six townhouses at a popular local walking spot.

The Department of the Environment said it had given careful consideration to the views of the council, but had decided to give outline planning permission on October 19 last year.

“The proposal was for improvements to the existing QUB sports pitches and facilities at Dub Lane /Upper Malone Road. The proposal also included the erection of 14 dwellings,” a DoE spokeswoman said. “In granting permission the department was aware of the substantial community and sporting benefits associated with the proposed scheme.”

Belfast councillor Bob Stoker said: “Residents are quite entitled to feel aggrieved. The developer could easily have reduced the amount of houses or put them in a different setting so there would be no loss of green space.”

Local resident William Kingan said the plan is to be built on a beautiful glen where local people walk their dogs. Some of the houses will be 4,000 square feet with two and a half storeys and one will completely overshadow his home.

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