Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Proud village looks to future

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I was dismayed to read Eric Waugh's history and description of Portballintrae (Belfast Telegraph, September 14).

First, Portballintrae's 'assortment of locals' is actually a very proud resident population of 758 people, which can hardly be classed as 'a few souls'. And the weather in winter is exhilarating.

Portballintrae is still a self-reliant community, mainly of retired people I must admit, but this is because our young people have been priced out of the village due to those expensive apartments he refers to.

Historically, the village had three hotels - Ballintrae House (which has been turned into expensive apartments), Bayview Hotel (which is very much alive and rebuilt to a very high standard) and the Red House Hotel. The Red House ultimately became the Beach House Hotel. In the 1990s it was sold to a development company as a going concern only to be shut and redeveloped as apartments.

The last shop in the village actually shut 12 years ago, not due to the proprietor's demise, but because the owner could not expand the shop.

Remember, we are the village where a rundown boat shed was listed at offers over £250,000, which incidentally was recently bought by a developer.

On present plans, a new shop, to be located in the main car park, should be opening next year along with a much needed community centre.

In spite of all of the incongruous development, we are a resilient bunch. With the Wine Bar more successful than ever, community events such as Halloween fireworks and the Christmas tree lighting party, as well as the planned village hall and shop, Portballintrae is looking hopefully to the future.

A Resident, Portballintrae

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