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Stephen Dunne's objection to Planning

Our team are following the objections as they are posted on the planning portal. We we are encouraged to see how many local representatives are gradually adding their voices to the cause!

Stephen Dunne, DUP MLA's letter in full:

Dear Planning Department

Ref: LA06/2020/0530/F

I am writing to object to the proposed 'Greenway' planning application along the North Down Coastal Path in its current form and would bring to your attention several areas of concern regarding this project. The coastal path is a wonderful local amenity which is enjoyed by many tens of thousands of residents of the area and visitors alike all year round. I cannot support the current plans for a 3 and 4-m wide Greenway route, which would bulldoze its way through vegetation, root systems of established trees and obliterate rock pools and sections of beach. There is also the very real threat to the existing biodiversity, marine environment, nesting birds, local wildlife as well as to the character of the path. Widening these sections could result in significant disruption to the natural environment. In view of the size and scale of the project, the publication of the notification information was insufficient, resulting in what I believe, has had a detrimental effect on the Pre Application Community Consultation Report. The lack of awareness and the poor response to the public consultation events is not in keeping with the levels of concern when the neighbour notification process began in the planning process. I am aware that there is also a sense of disquiet around the lack of truly representative public meetings which would have enabled a broad range of views to be heard, had they been publicised better and more widely representative of all views. Concerns have also been expressed around cyclists, and that the significantly widened Greenway route, could have the potential to become a very busy commuter route, which would be difficult to accommodate safe use for all walkers including those with disabilities and mobility needs as well as young children and prams etc, all of whom should be able to enjoy using the Coastal Path safely. There are number of sections of the coastal path which do require upgrading and investment to allow improved access for those with disability and mobility issues, as well as sections which have experienced dangerous sink holes over the years, but this upgrading must respect the character, environmental value and uniqueness of the North Down coastal path which has been enjoyed for generations, and I trust will be for generations to come. I would therefore suggest that further public consultation take place, in order to fully consider alternative proposals for a scheme, whilst preserving the unique character of the North Down Coastal Path. I trust these concerns will be taken into consideration when assessing this planning application. Regards Stephen

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