New row over Station Square redevelopment

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THE row over the Station Square development in Portrush, which is due to be completed in under three weeks, looks set to rumble on after a local councillor claimed the lighting scheme does not have planning permission.

At last Tuesday night’s council meeting Cllr Christine Alexander said she had saw a letter sent from the Planning Service to the council’s architect, Paul Hogarth Company, which stated that the 12 lighting columns in the scheme (PICTURED RIGHT) do not have approval from the planners.

This follows on from the Independent councillor’s bid to try and get work halted on a controversial wall in the development halted. Cllr Alexander said the wall, which is shaped like a ship’s bow, is higher that originally planned and is blocking the view of some residents in Kerr Street.

“We need to consider what is happening with this scheme at Station Square,” said Cllr Alexander.

“I have seen a letter from the Planning Service which says the lighting scheme does not have planning approval.

“There are clear and permitted guidelines for this scheme and these lights do not fall within this.

“This is extremely embarrassing for us.”

Council’s Director of Leisure and Development, Richard Baker, said he was aware of the issue but added there was only an issue with one light.

“We are aware of the issue but it relates to only one lighting column, which is now being moved, the other lights are passed,” said Mr Baker.

“The design as a whole was approved in June 2011 and was built as designed.”

Alderman James McClure said it was time for people to start praising the work which is being carried out in the seaside town.

“There has been so much negativity about this development and very little praise - which is wrong,” said Ald McClure.

“I was down in Portrush the other day and the work that has been done is fantastic. It’s time that we should praise all those involved.”

Cllr Alexander hit back though saying the work is appreciated but that issues needed to be addressed.

“Everyone appreciates the work that’s being done in Portrush, that includes all the voluntary work too,” said Cllr Alexander.

“But there are issues which need to be resolved. People are asking for clarification.”

Ald Maurice Bradley asked Mr Baker to bring some clarification on the matter to the next meeting.