Environment minister issues ‘notice of opinion to refuse’ private Causeway development

As anticipated yesterday the Northern Ireland Executive’s Environment minister, the DUP’s Arlene Foster, has made a statement to the Assembly and announced that a notice of opinion to refuse the planning application by Seymour Sweeney for his private development of the Causeway Visitors Centre has been issued – despite being “of a mind to approve” it previously. No sign of of any other matters yet.. But all documentation relating to the decision are now to be released.. The discussion continues live here. I’ll add links when available. Adds Apparently, according to the minister, being “of a mind to approve” is not the same as being “minded to approve”.. And From Mark Devenport’s blog – “If she had done this in the first place just think of the acres of newsprint that could have been saved.” Indeed. Update Some quotes from this report And The official ministerial statement

Arlene Foster, who last year said she was minded to back a bid by private developer Seymour Sweeney, told MLAs in the Stormont Assembly she has now changed her mind. She said she had decided against the bid over planning concerns. “There are serious doubts that the proposed development would adequately integrate into the landscape and it would add to the spread of development at this sensitive location,” the DUP minister said. “I have therefore concluded on balance and on further reflection that the application should be refused.”