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Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Muir raises Queen's Parade planning approval with Minister Mallon

Andrew Muir MLA asking question to
Minister Mallon

North Down Alliance MLA Andrew Muir raised the long awaited and much delayed Queen’s Parade development with the Infrastructure Minister in the Assembly on Monday 28 February, on the same day he was informed by Minister Mallon that the Planning Application is top of the list in being held by the Department for the longest period compared to all others at 52 weeks. 

Commenting on the development, Andrew Muir MLA stated “The foot dragging, dither and delay from the Department for Infrastructure over the long overdue and much awaited regeneration of Queen’s Parade is scandalous. 

The scale of delay is strongly illustrated by the shocking statistic that Queen’s Parade is the longest delayed planning application across whole of Northern Ireland when it comes to those subject to a holding direction where the Department and intervened and halted Council issuing planning approval. 

Whilst I welcome the Minister’s response to my question in the Assembly Chamber that matters are being finalised and a decision due as soon as possible sadly we’ve heard all this before. I’ve a large file of letters urging the Minister to act and only recently met with Minister Mallon urging progress but things are sadly moving as slow as a snail. The procrastination, stalling and playing for time has to stop. The Minister must intervene and let Council proceed and give approval now, the people of Bangor should not be told to wait one day longer”. 

Assembly Question response concerning planning applications subject to a holding direction attached.

Official Report: Monday 28 February 2022 

Mr Muir: Last year, your Department put a hold on Ards and North Down Borough Council's giving approval for the Queen's Parade development in Bangor. We are still waiting, 13 months later. When will you, as Minister, intervene, give the green light for that to go ahead and lift the holding direction that has been imposed on Ards and North Down Borough Council? 

Ms Mallon: The Member and I have met to discuss that issue. He will be aware of the work that has been ongoing between my Department, the council and other key stakeholders to try to make progress. The holding direction was issued by my Department in February last year, and it is in place. The assessment of the notification is being finalised. It is my intention to respond to the council as soon as possible with a decision as to whether the application should be referred to my Department for determination. I assure you that I am mindful of the importance of reaching a decision on the matter and avoiding any unnecessary delays.