Paisley office probe on hold…

PETE’S already blogged how many Assembly members are paying office rent to their own parties, but there was also an interesting development in the case of the office that costs taxpayers, by far, the most (around £57,000). It now transpires that a (very) belated planning application has gone forward to retrospectively change the use of the DUP’s Church Street premises in Ballymena from retail to office. The offices were opened last summer, but the application only arrived on July 11 (the same date Ballymena Council received a Building Control “regularisation application”), in the name of James Currie, Mr Paisley’s father-in-law and fellow Ballyallaght cottage owner, of the company Sarcon 250. The application has had the effect of putting an investigation into the planning status of the constituency on hold. It’s a safe bet the application will now be approved by the Planning Service in the DUP-controlled Department of the Environment.