Residents of Co Down village speak out against plans for 50 new homes

Residents of a Co Down village have raised concerns about a proposed new development believing it will overwhelm the area's infrastructure and services.

Plans for 50 new homes have been submitted to Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council Planning Committee by developer Lagan Homes (Hillsborough) LTD, on land of Carnreagh Road in Hillsborough.

Local residents group, Hillsborough Residents’ Action Group, have spoken out against the plans, saying that over 300 local residents oppose them and that they will have a detrimental impact on local services and infrastructure.

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They have said that the entrance to the proposed development would lead onto the Carnreagh Road, which residents say is "extremely busy and dangerous at peak times, particularly with children trying to make it to school."

Concerns were also raised that the additional building would place pressure on the already very limited waste-water network, parking, and require a number of ancient trees to be felled.

Local resident and Chair of the recently formed Hillsborough Residents’ Action Group, Paul Thompson, said that people were glad to have the opportunity to make their views known to the company and politicians at a consultation event on May 16.

“The number of people taking the time to be here shows that there is real anger about the plans. Hillsborough is a special place for many reasons – not only is it one of the only Georgian towns in Ireland, it has played a part in the history of these islands over the centuries.

“Its environment, made up of parkland and fields, contribute to its unique character. This is all being placed at risk by the plans, which come after a period of significant building and environmental loss in our village.

“There is genuine outrage across the community at what we see as the damage being done to our village but with no discernible benefit for local people. Our own group was formed in response to building on a nearby farm.

“This resulted in the loss of many ancient trees which lined the entrance to the village. Seeing those trees being cut down and loss of habitat was a very sad day for many of us.

“The Hillsborough Residents’ Action Group intends to engage fully with the planning process in order to limit what we consider to be the potentially serious negative effects of this proposal,” said Mr Thompson.

“We look forward to working with Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council on this important matter. We also look forward to local political representatives engaging with us and demonstrating their support for the local community.”

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