My attention has been drawn to a planning application for 275 Belmont Road, Belfast, formerly Pirrie House and its gardens.
This site is located at the corner of Pirrie Road. A century ago it formed the grounds of Ormiston House; indeed Ormiston's former Belmont gate lodge is still at the entrance to Pirrie Road.
For whatever reason, Pirrie House and its gardens were swept away a year or two ago, leaving an eye-sore on the road.
This is entirely a residential area. The nearest retailers are located at Strandtown, which is at the beginning of Belmont Road.
The planning application seeks full permission to develop a neighbourhood shop and petrol filling facilities at 275 Belmont Road.
There would be twelve pumps' forecourt canopy; cash machine; car-park with 21 spaces.
The applicant intends to operate from 6am until 11pm, seven days a week, employing fifty full and part time staff.
I pass this location frequently during the week. In fact I drove past tonight, en route to the Sports Club for a swim, and took the photographs.
Two schools are within the vicinity. Belmont Road, leading to the Hawthornden roundabout, can be particularly busy at peak times.
I feel that any retail unit at this residential site is most inappropriate.
I am convinced that local residents do not want a retail development at 275 Belmont Road.
Traffic levels are high enough and such a development would only increase congestion.
Schools are within walking distance and this could be hazardous or possibly dangerous for school-children, who would inevitably be tempted to visit the retailer for snacks or sweets.
The residential nature of this area must not be compromised by a petrol station and convenience store.
I intend to object to this application in writing to the planning authorities.
The documents associated with this planning application are available at: http://epicdocs.planningni.gov.uk/ShowCaseFile.aspx?appNumber=Z/2013/0944/F
Belfast Area Planning Office,Department of the Environment,Bedford House,Bedford Street,Belfast.BT2 7FD
The deadline I was given for objections to be received by the Planning Office is the 27th of September. The planning reference number, Z/2013/0944/F, also has to be quoted.