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COUNCIL DISMISS 1000 + PETITION AS 'UNCLEAR'- (there is nothing unclear about it! ) 

A council report claims that the community in favour - blatantly ignoring and failing to mention the majority of people who raised with objections and concerns.
A summary which we strongly query the accuracy of is being presented to councillors in Paper J of the Agenda for the Policy and Resources Committee meeting on Wed 13th November 2018. (see Councillors section of our website or Council website for document) 

How low will our Councillors go? Will they accept the report which gives a summary of their Public Engagement on their plan to dispose of Necarne? Councillors from the main parties were present and witnessed the truth and reality at the meeting. Will they go along with the version presented or correct it at this committee meeting or at the next full Council meeting in Enniskillen on Nov 19th 2018?

This was clearly a Sham 'engagement' and very far from an appropriate public consultation. A consultation the Council solicitors assured us of last year, on a huge and valuable public asset of regional importance for health, heritage, sport and tourism - for which restoration of the castle and safeguarding of community needs is vital.

The purpose of the Sham Consultation was clearly for the Council to get the result they wanted - just like they used the criteria and scoring to design an outcome suited to Euro Auctions.

Proposals are about handing over vital resources owned by the community to wealthy business interest at an extremely low rent of only £1666 per month for 200 plus acres and large buildings and houses all to generate profit for Mr and Mrs Keys of Euro Auctions.

A number of people raised serious concerns but this was not reported back to councillors. There was no mention of the 10 people who raised concerns about openness, transparency and allowing an appropriate consultation where people can see the terms of the deal writing in advance of any consultation and be consulted on that. People felt everything was very vague. Several raised concerns about the castle and the need for it to be preserved and all the millions the Council took out of Necarne and the need for it to come back and several asked about needs for equestrian users and use to be protected. Others expressed concerns about the impact on people living in Castle Street from the 80 houses and caravan park proposed for the listed historic estate - equivalent to putting a housing development in Castle Coole or Florencecourt. There is no protection for the historic estate -its beauty and peacefulness will be gone to commercial exploitation to benefit Euro Auctions. Necarne is an asset, not a liability - benefits and profits need to go to the community and heritage not Euro Auctions. 

There was no clarity about what or who was going to be protected in the future - making it impossible to have an appropriate public consultation. There was no formal vote taken on the proposals, only two people spoke in favour - (we suspect they work for council funded projects), it was more than presumptuous to say the community was in favour.

Held as part of an ICP meeting lasting only one hour, the Council officials filibustered the first half hour, then we had 15 mins of a wish list by EuroAuctions and their horrendous plans to put roads and 80 houses in a historic estate and between them both avoid restoration of the castle.- exploitation of heritage with no responsibility for it and no written assurances for the public on any community or heritage protections.

The report describes a' lengthy question and answer session' but people were only allowed one brief question and the Chairman allowed no come back on what the council officials came back with, rather invited council linked people to speak in favour allowing them all the time they wanted.

There was a clear refusal by the CEO to show people in writing what was going to be in the lease re community and castle - only the lease terms will show the truth of the plans. Early on in the meeting, one lady pointed out that there were health and safety issues in the meeting venue in the Arc Healthy Living Centre as there was a snooker table blocking a fire exit at the back of the room and people crammed in were sitting on it. The room was overcrowded with chairs filling exit paths at the sides. The organisers opened one side door and Chairman Ted Maye said         "You are slim enough to get through that"  There was an unhealthy rush to get through the only 15 mins of public scrutiny they have allowed in the years of their secretive process to dispose of Necarne.

   Only the lease terms hold any accountability for the public for the use by Euro Auctions of millions of public investment. Otherwise, anything like a machinery auction site could happen and there is nothing anyone can do. The said no major equestrian use and no plans to save the castle. Just more talk of the council stabilising  it - just as they have been saying for years - 7 yrs ago the Council showed community plans for a steel structure to go into the castle - but it never happened.  2 yrs ago the Council said they would remove the trees etc from inside the castle but it never happened. Now it seems they are going to give this multi-million asset to a millionaire for just £1666 a month rent and still the ratepayers are liable for the hundreds of thousands of pounds of work to stabilise the castle! People cant consider and feedback on what they don't know about. We don't think anyone should support a plan for Necarne without seeing firm assurances in writing of that is going to happen and what Euro Auctions must do - eg the lease. Then people can judge this deal. We do not recommend taking the word of a property developer whose only interest is private profit - and he will make that immediately when his rent is so low as he uses the public asset to draw down more gov subsidies on the land from rents etc - the profits from the estate and public investment belong to needs in community and the heritage. 

The Council do not have the right to dispose of this public asset and millions of public investment in this manner. 

For more info see our website Saving Necarne and keep up to date by liking our Saving Necarne Facebook page. 

We now have over 1700 signatures telling the Council to STOP - keep it going we plan to resubmit the Petition at the Full Council meeting on November 19th. Make your wonderful comments louder and clearer - as they don't seem to be hearing you! 

Saving Necarne
3 years ago