northern ireland

33 petitions

Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Newry, Mourne and Down Council, Liam Hannaway, Anthony McKay, Glyn Hanna, Mark Murnin, Roisin Mulgrew, Garth Craig, Kate Loughran, Charlie Casey, Laura Devlin, William Clarke, Jill McAuley, Micky Larkin, Declan McAteer, Michael Ruane, Gillian Fitzpatrick, Valerie Harte

Help protect Rostrevor Oakwood Nature Reserve from inner-city style development

***Despite over 4,500 of you signing this petition, six councillors voted to approve the "inner-city" style development and we are now preparing a legal challenge to have the decision overturned! Please continue to show your support for protecting our natural and cultural heritage and donate what you can to our legal challenge. We will continue to post updates on this page and also our Facebook page (RARE - Rostrevor Action Respecting the Environment) in the coming months. Thank you!   Rostrevor Oakwood Nature Reserve, nestled on the lower slopes of the Mourne Mountains, is an ancient native oak woodland covering an area of 41 acres and protected under EU law as a Special Area of Conservation. Situated a stone’s throw from the well-known Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor, and within a Cloughmore’s (“The Big Stone”) throw from the stunning glacial inlet of Carlingford Lough and the Cooley Mountains on the opposite shore, it is clear for all visitors to see how CS Lewis drew inspiration for his fabled land of Narnia from the area. Newry, Mourne and Down Council have approved a planning application for the development of 41 two- and three-bedroom apartments, a 70-bed nursing home, an underground car park and associated infrastructure on a 1.05-hectare site within metres of the woodland’s edge. We are asking for your support in signing this petition to object to this now approved development for the following reasons: The Council’s own planning officer has recommended refusal in four separate reports and each time highlighted the great extent to which this planning application is clearly and indisputably contrary to multiple provisions of the Planning and Policy Statements (PPS). *See bottom of page for full details. The developer has not conducted a full Transport Assessment. This is particularly worrying given the development site’s proximity to the busy A2 Shore Road, part of which collapsed during storms in 2014 and required extensive repairs costing £382,000. Given the increased frequency of extreme weather events, evidenced by the recent storm Ophelia, road safety must be taken under consideration when a decision is made on this planning application. A tree survey and report submitted by the developer omitted any reference to oak trees bordering the site. If disturbance to ancient woodland is to take place then it is vital that the ecology of the woodland is well documented and understood before the disturbance takes place. The developer has not conducted a full piling assessment, meaning no consideration has been given to understanding the impact of piling or ground excavation work on the woodland. The Woodland Trust’s expert recommendation to protect the woodland habitat by creating a 50-meter buffer zone between the woodland's edge and the development site has been completely disregarded by the developer. A scoping bat survey submitted by the developer was conducted using methods involving surveying during daytime hours, when standard practice advocates surveying during evening/night hours to establish bat presence. Bats are protected species and are protected by the full weight of UK and European law. The proposed development is contrary to Newry, Mourne and Down Council’s Tourism Strategy. The proposal in this planning application rather than representing an enhancement of the attractiveness of Rostrevor would significantly reduce the amenity value of the area and thus reduce its tourist and visitor potential. There are a number of examples of such economically and environmentally detrimental development on the north Antrim coast which are comparable and instructive. Inappropriate development of apartments more suited to an urban, high density setting has resulted in the creation of an environment which is unsuitable for and unattractive to families and where apartments are only sporadically occupied. The loss of visual amenity and character has resulted in reduced numbers of visitors and a lower level of economic activity. Newry, Mourne and Down Council’s handling of this planning application has raised considerable concerns. The Council’s Planning Committee originally approved planning permission for this application in May 2017, providing no valid planning reasons for their decision to disregard the advice of their Planning Officer to refuse the application. In September 2017, the Council made the unprecedented decision to overturn their own Planning Committee’s decision to approve the application and rescind planning permission. This decision was made when preliminary Judicial Review proceedings were initiated against the Council, which highlighted a number of procedural flaws in the decision-making process. A decision has now been made to approve this planning application so please show your support and sign this petition to object to the development of what Newry, Mourne and Down Council’s Planning Officer stated “would more properly be found within an inner city location”, not on a site where the Mountains of Mourne actually do sweep down to the sea. For more information please visit:   *Newry, Mourne and Down Council Planning Officer’s reasons for recommending refusal: The proposed development is contrary to Policy QD 1 of Planning Policy Statement 7 (PPS 7) criteria (a), (c), and (g), in that: the applicant has failed to demonstrate that the proposal would create a quality residential development; adequate provision has not been made for private open space and landscaped areas as an integral part of the development; and, the design of the development does not draw upon the best local traditions of form, material and detailing. The proposed development is contrary to Policy LC1 of the Addendum to Planning Policy Statement 7 on Safeguarding the Character of Residential Areas, criteria (a) and (b) in that; The proposed density is significantly higher than that found in the established residential area; and, The proposed pattern of development is not in keeping with the overall character and environmental quality of the established residential area. The proposed development is contrary to the Strategic Planning Policy Statement and Planning Control Principle 2 of PPS 12, in that the proposed density of the development, together with its form, scale, massing and layout does not respect local character and environmental quality The proposed development is contrary to Policy NH 6 of Planning Policy Statement 2 (PPS 2) in that the design, size and scale is not appropriate to the special character of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in general and of the 10 particular locality and does not respect local architectural styles and patterns, local materials or design. The proposal is contrary to Policy DES2 of the Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland in that the development would, if permitted, be detrimental to the townscape of Rostrevor and would not be sensitive to the character of the area surrounding the site with regard to design, scale and use of materials.

RARE - Rostrevor Action Respecting the Environment
4,619 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Department of Health NI, Health and Social Care Board

Equip GPs with mental health expertise #123GP

90% of people with a mental health problem will be treated by their GP, but all too often people don’t receive the care they need. One in three GP appointments are for mental health, and calls for better mental health training for GPs have already been made by the Royal College of GPs and mental health charity Mind.  Research carried out by the Mental Health Rights Campaign with 70 mental health service users and carers found that most of them were NOT confident about their GP’s ability to help them when it came to mental health.  Patients felt that there was a big difference between treatment for physical and mental health: “I feel my GP is very good most of the time but with mental health they struggle to understand and I think they aren’t trained to deal with it”.  Patients also talked about this lack of expertise had a serious effect on them: “the poor service affected the next five years of my life, had my GP known more I could have had a different path”. The Mental Health Rights Campaign has come up with THREE URGENT CHANGES which could significantly improve mental health care provided by GPs: Funding: Only two thirds of GP practices currently draw down funding available from the Health and Social Care Board for the provision of counselling, despite all practices being eligible to do so. We call on 100% of GP practices to draw down available Health and Social Care funding for counselling.  Training: Only half of all trainee GPs have to do a placement in a mental health facility, which is usually hospital based rather than in a community setting. Practising GPs do not have to undertake mental health training as part of their Continuous Professional Development (CPD). We call on all trainee GPs to undertake community based mental health placements and all practising GPs to undertake a set proportion of annual CPD credits which are focused on mental health.   Available Expertise: Professionals with mental health expertise, such as Community Psychiatric Nurses ( CPNs) don’t work in GP practices anymore. We call on professionals with mental health expertise to be based in GP practices as part of the primary care team.  The Department of Health and the Health and Social Care Board have the power to act on these proposals. Please help us send a strong message to them that action is urgently needed to equip GPs with mental health expertise. These changes will benefit not only patients and their families, who are entitled to receive the help they so desperately need, but also GPs who struggle to provide the help needed.

Mental Health Rights Campaign
1,969 supporters
Update posted 3 months ago

Petition to Cabinet office

Help support nominations for national treasure Harry Gregg to receive a knighthood.

Mr Harry Gregg from Northern Ireland signed for Manchester United in October 1957.On 6th February 1958 his life was to change Manchester United were travelling back from Yugoslavia when the plane had to stop in Munich. After refuelling, the plane made three attempts to take off when on the third attempt disaster struck. Mr Gregg managed to free himself and to help fellow passengers by pulling them to safety off the burning plane. He also pulled a baby and her mother from the wreckage. That’s why I’m calling for him to get a knighthood. Harry’s quick thinking and bravery saved lives and amazingly he was back in action for Man Utd in just 2 weeks. Just four months later, this amazing man was voted best goalkeeper in the World Cup after starring for Northern Ireland at finals in Sweden.  Harry Gregg has also set up  a foundation to promote grassroots football. The “Harry Gregg Foundation” aims to provide a framework for youth football by promoting player development, community cohesion and participation in health recreation. This promotes good citizenship and also enables young people to grow to full maturity as individuals and members of society.  Harry has done so much for football over the last 60 years, his bravery in Munich on and his contribution to grassroots football and youth of today. For that Harry deserves a knighthood. Please sign today if you think this national treasure deserves recognition for all that he has done for football.  P.S Can you please share this on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or Text Message.  

Jason Peters
13,883 supporters
Started 3 months ago

Petition to council

Object to development in Earlsfort and Moira Village - air pollution at illegal levels

Object to development in Earlsfort and Moira village ... after an independent test revealed that our air is polluted with illegal levels of toxic gas. A Friends of the Earth air monitoring tube which was placed on Moira Main Street for two weeks in December 2017, has revealed that pollution levels were above the level at which the annual legal limit is set.   The European Union has set the legal limit for silent killer Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) pollution at an annual mean of 40µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre)  ... but the monitor placed in Moira showed a shocking result of 52.7 µg/m3 ... higher than some readings recorded in London. Exposure to NO2 can have significant negative health effects. It is one of the UK's biggest killers, causing 40,000 early deaths  in the UK every year. Cancer, heart disease and asthma have all been linked to poor air quality, and it’s usually the most vulnerable in society, like children, who are at the most risk. Air pollution has even been associated with changes in the brain linked to dementia and can lead to children growing up with smaller lungs. Road transport is the major source of the toxic NO2 in the air we breathe. We believe that further development in the village of Moira should cease as more houses means more traffic and more traffic means more pollution and more toxic gas in our lungs and in the lungs of our children. We strongly feel that: 1. The air quality in Moira is poor and more housing developments will only exacerbate the problem.2. The time has come to tell the planners that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Please join us in sending a message to councillors, planners, and government departments that further development in the village is unacceptable. Thank you for taking the time to read and sign this. Earlsfort Residents’ Group. Note:1. All the results from the diffusion tubes required calibration and adjusting alongside government figures. This is called a bias adjustment. Friends of the Earth has adjusted the result for accuracy using a bias correction factor for the type of diffusion tube used. 2. An application for planning permission for the land adjacent to No’s 42 & 44 Earlsfort, Moira and No. 45 Lurgan Road, Moira has been filed with the Local Planning Office in Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council. (Ref LA05/2017/1125/F) These plans propose the construction of 34 new dwellings (two storey), comprising 14 semi-detached and 20 detached houses.

Earlsfort Residents Committee
306 supporters