A Dromore man is calling for a planning rethink to head off what he believes to be overdevelopment in local villages and towns, not least his own.
The concerned resident, who did not want to be named, believes too many greenfield sites are being given over to housing developments, to the detriment of existing homeowners and people in general.
“Residents would not want new houses close and tight to their homes and gardens,” he said.
“They would rather look into a nice green field and enjoy all the nature and the wildlife living there.” As well as Dromore, he singled out Donaghcloney, Moira, Hillsborough and Lisburn as giving cause for concern.
Recalling a time in Dromore when children played in fields long since given over to housing, he added: “It’s a shame these greenfield sites are being lost to housing developments and won’t be there for future generations to enjoy.”
He went on to suggest such sites should be pursued for public ownership “for children to play in and people to walk their dogs”.
The local man said he felt planning officials had questions to answer as to why housing developments were being approved on “good, greenfield sites”, often, he claimed, without “proper road infrastructure” and why more open spaces weren’t included, and playparks built, in areas with a concentrated sprawl of developments.
Claiming a perceived lack of forward planning on the part of the relevant authorities and advocating a decades-long ban on urban greenfield builds, with a curb too on countryside developments, he suggested derelict shops and other buildings be converted to housing, which should otherwise be confined to what he called “old, brown, waste and derelict industrial sites”.
“I have no problem with housing development,” he said, “if it is built in the right area, with the road infrastructure in place which doesn’t affect the wildlife or destroy good, green fields which should be used for farming.”