16 August 2017
North Belfast DUP MLA William Humphrey has welcomed the decision of Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday evening to approve plans by Hillview Centre Belfast Ltd to redevelop Hillview Retail Park, off the Crumlin Road.
Chair of the Infrastructure Committee
Planning Permission has now been granted, under the committee’s delegated powers, for plans which include: sub-division of the largest unit into two smaller units, addition of a mezzanine floor in one of these, recladding of the existing buildings, addition of a car showroom, a stand-alone restaurant and two drive-through café/restaurants and reconfiguration of the car park.
William Humphrey said,
“I warmly welcome this commitment to invest at Hillview Retail Park and that the City Council’s Committee has approved planning permission.
“This has the potential to create up to 300 jobs providing a much-needed boost to local employment and to the retail offering in North Belfast. Since the closure of the Dunnes Stores on site in 2007, and the collapse of plans by ASDA to locate there in 2011, the complex has lain largely vacant.
“These are exciting plans which will breathe new life and new vitality into this retail park which is accessible to all parts of the community.”
Commenting on the passing of the application at the City Council’s Planning Committee, by a vote of 7-6, Mr Humphrey added,
“It is deeply disappointing, but came as no surprise, that Sinn Fein, the SDLP and Alliance Councillors combined to oppose this planning application. All too often the mantra from Sinn Fein is that the only development they will support is housing development, and all too often the SDLP and Alliance parties fall into line with that blinkered policy.
“Having responsibility for Planning Powers means that City Councillors have to take responsibility for the zonal planning of the city. This former industrial land is zoned for commercial use and this investment will provide significant employment and retail opportunities for the benefit of local communities.
“Its key location, between the Shankill, Woodvale, Ardoyne, Marrowbone and Lower Oldpark communities means it provides an important shared space. It is not good enough that Sinn Fein, the SDLP and Alliance parties should seek to scupper that opportunity for investment and local economic development.
"We will continue to work with the developer to support this investment and the attraction of employers to this significant retail park.”