ROBIN Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party MLA, has called on the SDLP Environment Minister to withdraw the threat of National Park status from the rural community in the constituency.
Mr Swann said: “Following a very well attended and a very successful public meeting in Ballycastle, it is clear that there is no appetite for a National Park covering the Causeway Coast and Glens area.
“Listening to the experiences of those living in National Parks in the rest of the UK, it is clear that the power of the authority established to manage such a park has a major negative impact on the lives of many people.
“People in the Mournes have had the threat lifted from them following widespread public discontent and I urge SDLP Minister Attwood to lift the threat from the North Antrim community.
“Farmers trying to deal with higher costs, lower returns, TB, Schmallenberg, ash die-back, a farm payments system that doesn’t pay them and a host of wasteful red tape.
“They also have to live with the fear and apprehension of what this SDLP Minister wants to impose. I further urge the SDLP Minister to show the community of North Antrim the same respect he has given to the community in the Mournes and remove this threat.
“Minister Attwood would serve this community better if he focussed on addressing the major deficiency that is the area planning process.”