Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Will Sammy change the climate over Lisburn store plan?

Sammy Wilson has had some interesting comments to make on the subject of climate change, but the people of Lisburn are looking for a more rapid change of climate in Mr Wilson's own office

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On February 26 it will be six months since the third John Lewis planning application for the new Sprucefield development was lodged.

The applicants requested a public inquiry so that all those parties who object to the development might have their views heard.

Readers will recall that this planning process has been going on for more than four years now, as Belfast City Council, of which Mr Wilson and three other members of this Executive are members, took judicial reviews on two separate occasions to prevent the store opening in Lisburn.

The Planning Service must respond within six months to the request for the public inquiry and it is no surprise to us that they are utilising every minute of it in order to create the maximum delay.

Are they hoping that John Lewis will, in their exasperation, fold tents and disappear?

Contrast that with the way in which the Titanic Quarter project in east Belfast was fast- tracked in the planning process and £43m — half the projected cost of the new national stadium — thrown at it by Nigel Dodds.

Having lost the national stadium at the Maze, one might have been entitled to expect a little help from the Executive with the John Lewis application given the hundreds of retail and construction jobs involved during this economic downturn.

However, the clear message from the Executive to the people of Lisburn is that our vote for either of the main unionist parties was a complete waste of time and an abuse of the faith placed in them.

As far as the city of Lisburn is concerned, there certainly has been no fair deal, no delivery and no equality of service.



Cllr Ronnie Crawford (UUP) Lisburn City Council

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