Northern Ireland

Ards council turns down plan to move Knock golf club

A plan to relocate Knock golf club in east Belfast to a new site in county Down has been turned down by Ards Borough Council.

The club had wanted to move to a 185 acre site at Greengraves in Newtownards.

Earlier this year planners granted approval to build around 250 houses on the present site of the Knock club, despite breaching planning guidelines.

No one from the club was available for comment on Friday.

The planning application involved reducing the current golf course to nine holes and building 300 houses, including some social housing.

The club's new golf course would be constructed on a greenfield site at Greengraves.

Serious concerns

An original application was turned down because it did not meet with planning guidelines.

This was subsequently amended and won approval, despite an objection from a senior planning official.

Ards Borough Council refused permission for a secondary application for the club to reopen at Greengraves during a meeting on Wednesday.

Councillor Kieran McCarthy voted against the proposal. He said serious concerns about the impact on traffic and the environment were factors in his decision.

"We have good agricultural land being interfered with and I'm very content to see that the proposal has not been given permission," he said.

As far back as 2007, the development was supported by DUP MP Peter Robinson, who wrote to the then Environment Minister, Arlene Foster, asking if she could investigate the matter.

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