Grant – Further Update and Meeting

From the Chair:

Everyone,
I posted last week about the discussions that the Village Committee has been having on progressing the Arup Plan.  This is an update.

The plan you will remember made a number of proposals, and following a survey being conducted the results indicated that the village favoured exploring the development of a community hall/ structure as well as exploring environmental improvements.

At our committee meeting on Friday February 9 we came to a majority view that all potential sites for situating a structure had been exhausted.  However, one committee member proposed that we look again our decision to develop on the Village Green.  This view was not favoured by the majority of the committee for the reasons given in my last post:

  1. we are against any green-field development in and around the village, which is within the Lagan Valley Regional Park;
  2. the precedent that development of a green-field site would provide any developer – how could we argue against green-field development near the village if we ourselves had taken such an approach, it would clearly be hypocritical;
  3. the Green is outside of the BMAP settlement area; and given that,
  4. a significant number of people who live within the immediate area of the Green had expressed their opposition to development there, and as they would be more directly impacted we believed that their views should have primacy.

Following communication with the Council last week we have been informed that planning permission for any development on the Green would be unlikely because the Green is situated within the green-belt and, in addition, is outside of the settlement area.  We have also taken the mind of the Lagan Valley Regional Park who have informed us that they would be against any development of the green-belt.   All of which endorses the committee majority view about being against green-field development.

For all the reasons given above the committee is not in a position to explore any further the development of a community hall as part of the Arup plan and associated funding.  While this will clearly be a disappointment for many people given their support for the initial concept of a community space, the committee would like to assure you all that the development of a community space will not drop from our agenda as we propose to try and engage with the developer of the mill site to explore ideas in this regard.  However, we are under time pressure to develop viable and achievable plans and so need to press on.  The Council will be actively engaged with the next stage and will produce a set of proposals.  The committee will regularly update on this site what is happening.

The committee still plans to have a public meeting on Sunday, February 25 at 2pm as initially proposed.  The meeting will create the opportunity to brief you in more detail as to why the various sites investigated for a structure could not be developed further.  We shall also update everyone on the developing relationships between the National Trust, Woodland Trust, Belfast City Council and others in building a long-term vision for the village.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as can make it on the 25th.

Paul Mullan – Chair, Edenderry Resident’s Association

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Reply to Colin and residents of Edenderry

Dear Colin and residents of Edenderry Village,

Your post was in response to the decision that the village committee took on how we plan to take forward the 2016 Arup Report and subsequent grant award of £100k. As you know the committee was exploring two opportunities 1) the development of a community hall, and 2) environmental enhancements for the village.

Following protracted discussion of all the proposed sites the committee ruled out the development of a community structure as a viable proposal only because none of the proposed sites proved feasible. All sites proved to be unavailable for issues of land ownership, or being outside settlement zone designated by the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP).

When it came to the Green last year the committee agreed that there would be no development on the Green. The rationale for this is as follows:

  1. we are against any green-field development in and around the village, which is within the Lagan Valley Regional Park;
  2. the precedent that development of a green-field site would provide any developer – how could we argue against green-field development near the village if we ourselves had taken such an approach, it would clearly be hypocritical;
  3. the Green is outside of the BMAP settlement area; and given that,
  4. a significant number of people who live within the immediate area of the Green had expressed their opposition to development there, and as they would be more directly impacted we believed that their views should have primacy.

As a committee we recognised that we were taking decisions on behalf of the village, but we are very conscious that we need the trust of the village to do so. Consequently we felt it important to take the mind of the village last year and commissioned the survey you referred to. That survey showed that the village would like both a community hall and environmental improvements – there was no clear winner. Consequently, we explored the community structure proposition and came to the view that there are no sites for a hall at this time, should another similar opportunity emerge in the future this will be explored.

However, I take issue with your point about the survey, where you imply that because not everyone responded to the survey the views expressed should not be taken as the view of the village. The response rate (42%) was recognised by Belfast City Council as commendably high. The fact that a number of people did not respond does not invalidate the survey in any way. Most surveys only take a sample, we, however, endeavoured to take the mind of everyone in the village. The survey, therefore, gave the committee the mandate to explore both options, which we did in good faith.

Consequently, I am happy to call a village meeting on Sunday the 25th at 2pm in the Village Green when I will take the village through the process taken by the committee to date and restate our rationale for no green-field development. We will also update residents on the next steps on environmental improvements and developing the relationship with Belfast City Council, The Woodland Trust and the National Trust.

We are in the process of building a long-term vision for the village which is exciting and will build on the achievements made over the last number of years.

To end, can I remind everyone, time is running out for agreement, if we are not able to give the Council the go-ahead to

develop plans we will lose the money. Given that the next steps are for the Council to scope out what environmental improvements can be made and then feed back to us, if it is the feeling of the village that we need to have a further meeting at that time we are certainly happy to do so.

I propose not to engage in any discussion of this topic by social media, I hope everyone will respect that, however I am happy to meet with anyone who has a view on these issues between the 19th and 24th of February. I shall be away until then.

Paul Mullan

Chair, Edenderry Residents’ Assoc

07811389502

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Grant Update

In 2016 our village was awarded an EU grant. Based on the Arup report and the completed village survey, two main areas of interest to our community became apparent: a community meeting place and environmental improvements.

After an 18 month consultation process which investigated proposed sites for a community hall/building, all sites proved to be unsuitable.

Therefore, the committee is putting all of its efforts into environmental improvements in the village. We are currently working with the National Trust, Belfast City Council and the Woodland Trust.

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Woodland Trust visits Edenderry

The Woodland Trust visited the village yesterday with the aim of planting trees in our community as part of their Urban Tree project. The Trust is keen to work with us. There will be a further meeting to identify precise planting locations. We hope the Woodland Trust will provide saplings in autumn and help the community to plant.

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Carol Singing – December 22nd

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Edenderry Improvement Survey feedback

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Halloween Night 2017

 

Another great Halloween night was had by all. If you have more photos, let me have them.

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