TODAY I’m going to give off about the internal politics in West Belfast.
Most of the petty money wasting politics surrounds plans for new developments – new developments in the back yard of private home owners. These home owners fail to understand that they or their banks only own the square footage of their property – not the mile radius around it.
Andytown Barracks – this has become an off shoot of the International Wall on the Falls Road. I get the feeling that Sinn Fein and interested parties prefer to drag the redevelopment of this site out because it’s a convenient spot to hold small scale community events. There aren’t that many houses around it and the residents here have been fairly subdued about any building work.
Casement – It’s being held to ransom by residents. Although they do want to see Casement being redeveloped, just not to the height and capacity that’s planned. But if it’s not redeveloped to magnificent standards – it’s not going to stand out from all the other stadiums and concert venues. West Belfast needs to start selling itself as the place to be. We aren’t a bunch of mental anarchists anymore. We have to accept that money talks and there is millions of it waiting to be invested in this postcode. The residents should focus more on what they can get out of it rather than wasting money through the courts in getting it stopped.
Falls Park – At the public meeting, a map of the park was given out by a resident and spokesperson. ‘Housing’ was only written on the areas of Norfolk. We all know this is the apparently more affluent side of the park. Using their social media page as a platform to outline their concerns and suggestions, the residents of Norfolk have described the top half of the park as derelict – which it isn’t. The socially deprived Turf Lodge surrounding the top of the park will be affected by the new 3G pitch and flood lighting and this has not been acknowledged. Again we have another case where home owners think they have more rights to dictate the provision of recreation than social home tenants.
Glassmullan Green – This beauty spot with stunning city views has been a dumping ground for years. It needs redeveloped. Building 3G GAA sized pitches all over the show is a sure fire way to piss people off and the residents of Glassmullan have been relentless in letting La Salle School and Sinn Fein know they aren’t happy. The reason why the opposition campaign behind this is working – is because the private and social dwellers living beside this open space respect each other’s right to admire the beauty of this land. Something the Save the Falls Park Campaign should pay attention to.
Visteon – like it or not but the residents saying they prefer the site to be used for commercial premises are coming across as snobs and their war cry of ‘we are concerned about contaminated land’ is not going to wash. We all know they couldn’t give a toss about the health and wellbeing of future children playing on those soon to be built streets. They just don’t want to have a social housing site in their back gardens. It’s plain as day. We know it and they know it.