Blaney angry over Rathlin planning refusal

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INDEPENDENT councillor Seamus Blaney is angry planners who recently approved six new houses for Rathlin Island have now turned down an application for one dwelling, writes Nevin Farrell.

He was speakng as planners returned to a Moyle Council meeting with an opinion to still refuse permission for Mr J McKinley to build a new one-and-a-half storey dwelling house at Quig Demesne, Church Bay. There were two letters of objection.

Cllr Blaney said recently six houses were approved on Rathlin and yet a case of one man trying to build “one wee house” was being turned down.

Planning officer Julie McMath said the previous application got the go-ahead because it was within the ‘development limit’ of Church Bay.

Cllr Blaney added: “I can’t see how six houses is in keeping with Rathlin and one wee house is going to blow it into the air. It doesn’t make sense to me.”

Looking at the current case, planners say there are no overriding reasons why the house is essential in a rural location and could not be within a settlement and if permitted would result in an surburban-style build-up of development when reviewed with existing and approved buildings.

Planners said the impact of ancillary works would damage rural character and would therefore result in a detrimental change to the rural character of the countryside.

Planners further added that if permitted it would adversely affect the setting of a building listed by reason of its detailed design and unsympathetic building materials which are out of keeping with the listed building.

Planners further stated that the site lies in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the development would, if permitted, be detrimental to the environmental quality of the area by presenting a suburban-style build-up of development which would mar the distinction between the defined settlement limit of Church Bay and the surrounding countryside.