Thursday 23 February 2012

Planning approval for hotel criticised by Greens

The Lagan Valley Green Party has criticised the SDLP Minister of the Environment for approving plans for a luxury hotel within Lagan Valley Regional Park.

Green Party Lisburn Town South spokesperson, Dr Luke Robinson, emphasised that the project is opposed by the Lagan Valley Regional Park and by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

Dr Robinson said, “In our opinion the project on the Hillsborough Road is in breach of several of the policy statements within the Lagan Valley Regional Park Local Plan. Specifically within the Park there should be a presumption against development unless strict criteria are met. In addition, there will be loss of habitat and risk to biodiversity. Unfortunately, in this instance, Minister Attwood appears to have given undue weight to economic arguments. Good planning needs to take place regardless of short term economic demands and must always strike the right balance between the concerns of the local area, the environment and the broader economy.

Dr Robinson continued, “More generally we are concerned that if this project proceeds it will continue to shift the seat of economic activity within Lisburn to Sprucefield rather than the city centre. With potentially two hotels operating in close proximity at Sprucefield there is little incentive for an operator to establish a city centre hotel that could be the hub of a rejuvenated night time economy. This decision by Minister Attwood highlights all that is wrong with the planning system in Northern Ireland. This is the right project in the wrong location.”


Photograph features Dr Luke Robinson, Lagan Valley Green Party, Lisburn Town South spokesperson, with the proposed Hotel site in the background.

Lagan Valley Regional Park is Northern Ireland’s first and only Regional Park and lies along the River Lagan stretching for 17.6 km from Stranmillis, Belfast to Union Locks, Lisburn. Read more about the Lagan Valley Regional Park at

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