The Orange Institution will be seeking a meeting with Choice Housing to ascertain why they failed to consult the members of Belfast Orange Hall, Clifton Street, giving them no choice or say, regarding the proposed housing development at Stanhope Street / Regent Street.
There are questions to be answered by Belfast City Council relating to the planning process used, which failed to recognise the sensitivities of this area with regard to cultural expression.
How did the planners approve this application in light of the ‘Cultural Corridor’ concept developed by Belfast City Council? This was supposed to focus on the ‘built heritage and authentic character as a catalyst for sustainable regeneration, with cultural and educational organisations working together to develop a cohesive place-based plan to showcase the heritage of this part of the city’.
Where does this planned development fit into the Department for Communities’ ‘Clifton Gateway Public Realm Scheme’?
Questions need answered and we will appreciate the locally elected representatives assisting us in obtaining the answers.
The Parades Commission created the climate where Choice Housing, and planners, think it is acceptable to create a permanent ‘no go’ area along a main arterial route into Belfast city centre, by consistently and unjustifiably banning supporters of Loyal Order parades from Clifton Street / Donegall Street.
This sectarian ban by the Commission was imposed, even though the Loyal Orders had reached an agreement with the local Roman Catholic Church. Sadly, the members of the Commission, who are accountable to no one, will continue to be well paid for institutionalising sectarianism and rewarding intransigence.
The Orange Institution’s objections do not relate to the needed housing, but how the siting of housing on this main arterial economic route into the city centre makes a nonsense of the aim of a shared city.
If this development goes ahead Clifton Street should be renamed Sectarian Street.