Sinn Fein note of caution on ambitious west Belfast development plan
A multi-million pound development in west Belfast given the go-ahead by the Department of Environment must not come at a cost to residents, Sinn Fein has said.
Plans for the huge scheme, which includes 450 houses, were given approval by Environment Minister Mark H Durkan for outline planning permission yesterday.
The application by the trustees of the Diocese of Down and Conor for the land known as Glenmona on the Glen Road will include a wide range of facilities.
It hopes to revitalise the area with both employment and housing prospects, with plans for light industry and business, an education campus, a hotel, a range of retail and community and cultural uses within a single shopping area, a variety of open space and recreation areas, including playing fields on the 34 hectare site and the replacement of the existing care facilities.
The announcement comes ahead of the investment conference with Prime Minister David Cameron, due in Belfast later this week.
Mr Durkan said the development on the former St Patrick's Training College site "will regenerate west Belfast".
"This 34-hectare site is currently largely unused, which is unheard of for a site of this size in Belfast," he said.
The Sinn Fein MP for West Belfast, Paul Maskey, said while it's an exciting venture it's important that the correct infrastructure is put in place.
"While we could have a first-class facility here, there is no point if that creates a detrimental effect further on down the road for someone else," he said.