Councillor
Peter J. Martin
transparency, accountability and effective representation

Groomsport - Councillor Peter J. Martin

Lifestyle Homes

Monday 9th September 2013

Over the last number of years over 250 static homes have been built in two separate sites between Groomsport and Orlock and, in order to facilitate this, there has been significant infill in some of this area. This has meant that the path which walkers would have previously used to enjoy our coastline has been effectively pushed nearly into the sea.

Over the last number of years over 250 static homes have been built in two separate sites between Groomsport and Orlock and, in order to facilitate this, there has been significant infill in some of this area. This has meant that the path which walkers would have previously used to enjoy our coastline has been effectively pushed nearly into the sea. 

Initially permission was granted by the Council in the 1960s as part of legislation under the Caravan Act 1963. In the last number of years Planning Enforcement have investigated both the extensive infill and also the forced relocation of the coastal path. 

Anyone who walks along this beautiful stretch of coastline cannot fail to notice the massive changes over recent years. The path, for example, has been pushed so close to the sea it is practically impassable at very high tides and downright dangerous in rough seas. I welcome Lifestyle Homes’ (the current owner of the parks) recent offer to allow walkers access to an alternative path through their park (which will be signposted in the near future). But now we must live up to our legislative duty as a Council to ‘assert, protect and keep open any public right of way’ so that future generations can enjoy our beautiful coastline. 

I have been working with Council Officers for a number of months on this matter. I believe that we now require clarity on this offer by Lifestyle Homes as to the status of this ‘alternative path’ and also whether our current path is an officially asserted Public Right of Way. This type of over development in the countryside should act as a warning to us as future generations have to live with the consequences.

> back to north down issues