Belfast Telegraph

Rathgael Road housing plan gets the go-ahead

By Michael Bashford

Planning has been approved for the contruction of 690 new homes at the site of the current Woodlands juvenile centre in Bangor.

The plans for Helen’s Wood, which will go ahead pending confirmation of planned road improvements on the nearby Rathgael Road, was confirmed by Planning Service this week.

North Down Borough Council are set to discuss the issue at the next planning committee meeting on April 27.

DUP Councillor Wesley Irvine said that while housing was needed in the area, the main worry for local people and council was the road infrastructure on the Rathgael Road.

“The road is busy at the best of times so an additional number of cars would make things a lot worse,” he said.

“We will have to see what the road provisions are from Roads Service.”

However local business owners have welcomed confirmation of the planned work.

Phil Watson, store manager at the nearby Spar on the Rathgael Road, said the decision would be good for business.

“This is good news for us at the Spar as well as the local economy in general,” he said.

However, Mr Watson agreed that ensuing road works could cause problems.

“Usually road closures would be a death blow for our sales targets during the year and it can become a nightmare for motorists but if it is essential work then it is a price that must be paid.”

A statement from Planning Service said: “The application has been recommended for approval and this has been agreed by the Minister. It includes the development of 690 dwellings on the site.

“Planning Service is in the process of preparing a Notice Of Opinion and as such the conditions have not been finalised.”

Belfast Telegraph

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