Belfast Telegraph

Scheme for 650 homes dating from 2008 will not be given go-ahead

By John Mulgrew

A huge 650-home development dating back almost a decade is due to be refused permission next week, it can be revealed.

Plans were submitted for the housing scheme back in 2008, just outside Lisburn in Co Antrim.

The development was due to be based at land to the north and east of Ballymacash Primary School, east of Mourneview Park and Glenbrae and south of Glenavy Road.

The application was made back before planning matters were devolved to councils.

It was made by O'Kane & Devine Ltd. But the company has since gone into administration.

The reserved matters application is due to be voted on at next week's Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council planning meeting.

A spokeswoman for the council said the application was "submitted to the department as planning authority in May 2008... the application was transferred undetermined to Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council on April 1, 2015."

The council said the applicant, O'Kane & Devine Ltd, which made the application "no longer owns the land".

"The application is included on the schedule of applications for determination by the planning committee at its meeting on August 7, 2017.

"The recommendation presented to the committee is to refuse planning permission."

A letter from planners to applicants this year says that it understands the "applicant's company has entered administration".

"Further I understand the lands associated with this proposal may have passed to another party. In light of this it would be helpful if you now indicate how you wish to proceed with this planning application".

Last year the Belfast Telegraph revealed major planning applications dating back more than a decade have still not been decided on. That lack of action was blasted by one planner, who said the huge delays create "uncertainty" which gives investors "a negative view of the Northern Ireland planning system".

Around 10 major applications sitting with the department remained undecided at the end of 2016.

Planning powers were devolved to Northern Ireland's councils in April 2015, but major and significant applications were retained by the Department of the Environment, now Department for Infrastructure, for decision.

Belfast Telegraph