Planner: We don't just make up refusal reasons

AN OFFICIAL has slammed a suggestion planners just throw up refusal reasons for the sake of it.

Julie McMath hit out at a meeting of Moyle Council where councillors were told there were seven reasons why planners had a refusal opinion for a site for five detached dwellings at 22 Drumavoley Road, Ballycastle.

Independent councillor Randal McDonnell said there were "endless silly" objections and he wondered how many of them "really hold much water".

But Ms McMath said the seven reasons were legitimate and she added that not one of them were put on lightly.

She added planners were "not in the habit of just putting on refusal reasons".

Council Vice-Chairperson, Councillor Robert McIlroy (DUP), said: "You certainly threw the book at this one".

The applicants in the case are Mr and Mrs O'Neill and councillors asked for a deferral in the case.

One objection was lodged with planners against the scheme.

Reasons given by planners for refusal were as follows:

1. Part of the site lies outside the settlement development limit designated for Ballycastle in the Draft Northern Area Plan.

2. The site contains an area designed as a Local Landscape Policy Area in the Draft Northern Area Plan.

3. There are no over-riding reasons why this development is essential in this rural location and could not be located within a settlement.

4. The plans fail to integrate into the landscape.

5. It would result in suburban-style build-up and result in a detrimental change to the rural character of the surrounding countryside.

6. The development would mar the distinction between the defined settlement limit of Ballycastle and the surrounding countryside.

7. Unsatisfactory access arrangement.

Councillor McDonnell believed the new Area Plan will be "pie in the sky" when the new super-Councils come in.