Workers Party West Belfast representative, Conor Duffy has reacted angrily to the announcement that no public housing is to be built on the former Mackies site on the Springfield Road.
“Well over a year ago I warned that despite West Belfast having one of the highest public housing waiting lists in Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council was proposing to develop the 25-acre site as a park and green-way amenity area”, Conor said
Those fears were confirmed at a meeting of the Council earlier this week.
While I am symapthetic to the need for such ammenities, the priority remains that there is currently a need for more than 2,000 publicly owned, affordable homes in West Belfast.
The waiting list figures here are amongst the highest in Northern Ireland, yet the council has opted to use the land for what amounts to an environmentally friendly ‘peace wall’ rather than an integrated public housing development stretching between the Springfield and Ballygomartin areas.
“It is inconceivable that the former Mackies site, which is public land under the ownership of the Department for Communities, is not being earmarked for a major public housing project
Sinn Fein, in particular, owe this community a public explanation of their position, why they voted against a proposal for public housing and why their Minister in the Department of the Communities did not support a public housing development on the site” Conor concluded..