Speaking after a planning committee meeting of Belfast City Council, PBP councillor Matt Collins has hit out at councillors who voted in favor of a retail only development in North Belfast. The vote passed in favour of building retail at the abandoned site, ruling out the possibility of social housing being built on the site. Councillor Collins said:
“Tonight, councillors who supported this initiative have sided with wealthy developers against the wishes and interests of the local community, they should hang their heads in shame.”
“There is an urgent need to build social housing across this city and residents and campaigners in North Belfast have done vital work in showing how the Hillview site would be best suited to build social housing. It sits in an area of chronic housing stress, with high rates of poverty and homelessness. Belfast City Council has once again ignored its residents and shown that it cares little about developing decent homes.”
Campaigners and local residents took to their feet and held up protest signs during the meeting in opposition to the lack of input from local residents in the final decision.