Chinese Welfare Association Planning Proposal
Published on Thu, 23 Feb 2006
The Planning Service has clarified issues around a planning proposal from the Chinese Welfare Association.
A Planning Service spokesperson said: "We acknowledge that the Association has had problems wholly unconnected with planning over the past number of years in bringing this project to its present position. However, the planning application was submitted just over a year ago with incomplete information and at the Association's request, it was put on hold for a substantial part of that time.
"I must emphasise that the Planning Service has worked closely with the Association throughout the period and indeed prior to the application being submitted. This application is still under consideration and no final decision has been taken.
"There remain issues to be addressed. Planners are not being awkward in raising these issues but we are obliged to apply the law and policy. To try and bring the case to a conclusion as quickly as possible, the Planning Service's Belfast Divisional Manager will arrange a further meeting with Ms Lo with the aim of resolving all the outstanding issues and so facilitate an early decision."
Notes to Editors
- An outline planning application for a Community and Resource Centre for the Chinese Welfare Association was received by Planning Service on 22 October 2004.
- Planning Service officials met with the Chinese Welfare Association prior to the submission of the application and explained the planning issues to be addressed which included the need to demonstrate potential community benefit. However, the planning application was not accompanied by any evidence of potential community benefit that would have allowed Planning Service to take an early decision and additional information on this aspect was sought from the applicants and is awaited.
- In May 2005 the Planning Service was asked by the Department For Social Development, acting on behalf of the Chinese Welfare Association, to hold the application in abeyance to allow a professional design team to be appointed. The application was re-activated in December 2005 at the request of the Chinese Welfare Association and a further meeting with Planning Service officials took place last month.
- The application is still under consideration and no final decisions on it have been reached.
- Media enquiries call DOE Press Office tel. 028 9054 0003.