North Down Green councillors attempt to halt Greenway plans
The Green Party NI representatives in Ards and North Down are seconding a motion this evening, Thursday 26th January to pause the current planning application for the Kinnegar to Donaghadee Greenway.
Bangor Central representative Cllr Stephen Dunlop said: “I am pleased to second the proposal brought forward by Cllr Ray McKimm. Having listened to neighbours and residents across the Borough, and taking on board their concerns, I will not be supporting the current proposals. We are seeking other options to be considered, and brought forward with meaningful community input. Officers have been ambitious with some 31.5km of greenway which is to be commended but really the project needs to be broken down into much smaller sections and working groups created to see what could happen to parts of the length. I know from my own experience the sea wall at Ballyholme esplanade needs repointed where it has weathered many storms. Other parts need drainage to allow the flora and fauna to dominate more. There are lengths that could be more accessible and I urge Council to implement this as soon as possible.
Cllr Rachel Woods, Councillor for Holywood and Clandeboye, said: “I am in support of the plans to install greenways across Northern Ireland to facilitate outdoor exercise, foster connectivity and to ensure that everyone has equality of access to pathways with appropriate surfacing, away from major roads. I also fully support the improvement and upgrade of cycle lanes in order to facilitate safer active travel for commuting, something which I have called for over many years. It is unfortunate that the Department of Infrastructure has not delivered on this for Ards and North Down.
“However, given the current plans for the Kinnegar to Donaghadee Greenway, in our opinion, represent significant and disastrous environmental damage to certain areas of our coastal path, it is impossible for us to support the current plans. They must be revised. This whole process has shown the failings of our planning system. We have tick-box exercises instead of genuine community consultation, we have no equal rights of appeal, and environmental protections can be ignored. The whole system is opaque, confusing and subject to misinterpretation.
“It is paramount that any new proposals are developed with local residents’ input, rather than being imposed on them.”