Residents in Peel took the chance to voice their complaints about proposed changes to a housing development on the outskirts of the town.
Housing developer Dandara has applied to alter plans at Slieau Whallian View, and instead of building the original 24 houses, it says it wants to build 49 smaller properties, including smaller terraced houses.
More than 40 people attended Wednesday’s meeting, which was chaired by Peel commissioners chairman Christine Moughtin and the town clerk Derek Sewell.
Also in attendance was Jennifer Chance, interim director of planning and building control, and Sarah Corlett, senior planner. Dandara officials also attended
Peel Commissioners outlined their objections, claiming that the number of car parking spaces provided was inadequate and that some of the smaller properties had insufficient garden space.
Residents also raised fears about the impact that a larger development could have on the infrastructure of Peel, and also about the potential increase in traffic.
Johnny Bernie, who lives in the nearby Tommy Clucas Avenue, claimed that the existing sewage treatment operation was already showing signs of breaking down, and stated that the extra development would add a greater strain to the system. He claimed that his quality of life had been compromised due to the smell of raw sewage, and that he has often seen raw sewage rising up from manhole cover in the road.
‘I have my concerns about a year down the line of the this development,’ he said after the meeting was wound up. ‘The drainage down there has already quit working. There are times already when the raw sewerage has come up through the manholes and floated down the road. So what’s going to happen now, when they put another hundred houses on it? I live in Tommy Clucas Avenue, in a house that cost £330,000, and there are times that I can’t go and sit in my garden because of the smell of the sewage system.’
Debbie White, who lives on the Reayrt Ny Cronk Estate, adjoining the new development, said: ‘The developers have changed their plans, and the properties have changed in size, which affects the people who are going to live in those properties.
‘There is the access rights to those properties, there’s the car parking issues, and there is also the infrastructure problems, with the sewage, which we have heard about tonight, which is already at its capacity. There’s also the doctor’s surgery, and the schools, which will cause major problems at a time when we are in an austere time.
‘This will end up costing government departments a lot more money in the long run.’
The development was defended by Dandara’s commercial director David Thomas, who said that the company was just responding to commercial pressures. He said that there was more demand for smaller, more affordable houses rather than larger properties, before adding that the company will work with the planning authorities and take issues surrounding the infrastructure on board.
‘People are entitled to express their views, and I think they did that very clearly tonight,’ he said. ‘What we have to do is take stock of the views that were raised and address them.’
The meeting was closed by Mrs Moughtin, who encouraged all parties with concerns to lodge their objections with the planning department.
‘The original strategic plan of 1,200 is now up to 1,900 houses,’ she said. ‘So where does it end? That’s what we’re asking the planners. They are the ones who give permission, and they are the ones who must say enough’s enough.
‘All we can do is give our views and our thoughts to them, like anybody else can.’