Alexander anger over Portrush scheme wall

A PORTRUSH councillor claims a new wall is obstructing the sea view of Kerr Street residents.

Independent councillor Christine Alexander raised the issue of the structure, which has been built as part of the Station Square redevelopment. She claims that it is blocking views of the sea from homes at Kerr Street and that residents have been misled by planners.

The press were excluded from a discussion about the issue during last month’s full Council meeting.

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Raising the matter again, under ‘Any Other Business’, during last Tuesday’s Leisure and Environment meeting, councillor Alexander said that many new issues had come to light since the last debate.

Despite being muted a number of times by the Committee Chairman, Sam Cole, councillor Alexander continued to speak.

“We have a moral and legal responsibility to have the matter resolved,” said councillor Alexander.

She referred to the description of the wall on the planning proposal and claimed that there was no mention of a ship’s hull, which the wall represents.

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Despite continued attempts to be silenced by the chairman, councillor Alexander continued saying: “This is urgent. We have the Corporate Director and Leisure Services Director here, we have a responsibility to do something, this is having a serious impact on people.

“There are many new issues, but work is continuing, we have a responsibility to rectify this.”

Director of Environment Services, Kieran Doherty, replied: “This issue has been debated at length. The planning status has been re-examined at length and it is within the approved parameters. There is nothing going on that hasn’t been approved.”

Councillor Alexander retorted: “Misleading information has been displayed, a huge error has been made here. I want the chance to present some of the facts here.”

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In a bid to silence the councillor, DUP councillor Adrian McQuillan asked if the issue had been listed on the agenda for this month’s Policy and Development meeting.

Richard Baker, Corporate Director Leisure and Development said that there were no plans for that but that he would look at it again.

Councillor Alexander added: “We spent £14,000 on planning consultants to look at removing a fence at Kiddiland, as it was blocking vistas of the sea - but it is okay to obstruct views on down Kerr Street.”

During the meeting Councillor Alexander also expressed concerns over the lengthy closure of the beach promenade at East Strand.

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The regeneration of the area was completed last year, costing in the region of £1.1 million.

However, councillor Alexander questioned why the pathway was still impassable, given that it had been closed since Boxing Day, after it collapsed during winter storms.

“This has been closed since Boxing Day. On Sunday I saw two young boys swinging inside the cavity of the collapsed promenade. I know that attempts have been made to secure the structure, but what’s the progress on this,” she asked.

A Council spokesperson said that the reinstatement of the damaged promenade and steps was due for completion is the last week in May/first week in June completion.