20 jobs ‘under threat’?

AROUND 20 jobs could be under threat unless retrospective planning approval is given for a business in Stranocum, DUP councillor John Finlay warned on Monday.

He pleaded with planners not to refuse permission for Causeway Pallets and Transport Ltd for a manufacturing, storage and distribution facility adjacent to 74 Fivey Road.

Planners are of the opinion to refuse retrospective planning approval.

Planners say there are no over-riding reasons why the development is essential in this rural location and could not be located within a settlement.

And they say the proposal is contrary to their policy on major industrial development in the countryside in that the development would, if permitted, result in a significant increase in traffic congestion and thereby prejudice the safety and convenience of road users and be detrimental to the visual amenity of the area by reason of its scale.

Planners added there has been no demonstrative evidence given as to why there are no preferable alternative sites and they say the impact upon residential amenity by virtue of noise has not been satisfactorily remedied.

At Monday’s meeting, a planning officer said a new policy came in in December regarding industrial development in the countryside.

Cllr Finlay called for an office meeting to be held with North Antrim MP Ian Paisley Jnr in attendance.

Cllr Finlay said the planning application in this case is critical as there are around 20 jobs depending on the decision.

He added if it is not passed he feared the business could move elsewhere out of the Ballymoney area.

“It is imperative this stays in the Borough.”

He said it was a case that Ballymoney could lose more business.

DUP councillor Evelyne Robinson said she was also concerned about the outcome and SDLP councillor Harry Connolly said it is a case planners should examine “very favourably”.

A planning official suggested that they have an office meeting on the matter and if Cllr Finlay and others are still not satisfied, the MP could then become involved.