“senior staff at the Housing Executive ensured the letter was withdrawn…”

According to a BBC report, the Housing Executive has asked the police to investigate its inconsistent role in a site at Nelson Street, in north Belfast – which is now owned by the development company, Big Picture Developments – one of whose directors is the chairman of the Policing Board, Barry Gilligan. From the BBC report

For years, the Housing Executive opposed the commercial scheme, insisting the land was still designated for social housing. But recently it appeared to change its mind and wrote to planners telling them that it was “withdrawing the request for social housing at the scheme”. It is believed this letter will form part of the police investigation. After it was discovered, senior staff at the Housing Executive ensured the letter was withdrawn and its original position of opposition to the development was reinstated.

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  • FitzjamesHorse

    Saw this story on BBC News a few weeks back and thought this is potentially a very big scandal. And I think I was surprised that it seemed to be sidelined.
    Im glad that it has resurfaced.
    There are questions to be asked.
    But frankly Im rather worried.

    We seem overburdened with scandals at the moment…Child abuse, Expenses, Gunmen in government…and frankly we are not getting to the bottom of any of them.

    It seems that the poison of Creative ambiguity and possibly tribal loyalties has encouraged a situation where eventually everything is hushed up…..sidelined….brushed under the carpet.

    Despite our own self-praise……and God knows we will see a lot of that tomorrow in a tide of St Patricks Day bonhomie ……..we are actually a Godawful society.

  • Ulick

    And about time as well. There’s been a stink around for quite a while.

  • lamhdearg

    Social housing in nelson street, thats all Poor kids need to back up there bad diet, the fumes from the vehicles of one of the busiest juntions in belfast.

  • iluvni

    Is Crumlin Rd jail to be left as an eyesore forever too?

  • joeCanuck

    Kudos to the staff in the H.E. who called in the police. We need committed people like that in all public institutions.

  • aquifer

    Yep. Sometimes explanations for decisions involving big amounts of money are not innocent.

  • aquifer

    But in this case there is probably too big a proportion of social housing around Nelson Street, even if NIHE don’t want to have local public representatives hear them say this. More social housing is more safe votes for our sectarian duopoly.

  • [quote][i]It seems that the poison of Creative ambiguity and possibly tribal loyalties has encouraged a situation where eventually everything is hushed up…..sidelined….brushed under the carpet.

    Despite our own self-praise……and God knows we will see a lot of that tomorrow in a tide of St Patricks Day bonhomie ……..we are actually a Godawful society.[/i] …. Posted by FitzjamesHorse on Mar 17, 2010 @ 12:06 AM [/quote]

    The ubiquitous oxygenating bright light of publicity which reveals with creative simplification the complication which seeks to conceal and ambiguously control tasks and dirty deeds done dirt cheap, is the most perfectly effective, immaculately conceived, CyberIntelAIgently Designed antidote to all such administered and/or administrative poisons in any society and/or perverse world, FitzjamesHorse.

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    And that is something which, if it is denied by Invest Northern Ireland or the Offices of the First and Deputy First Ministers, will be easily proven to be a Godawful Fabrication hiding ITs Truth, for there is Evidence Available and an Electronic Trail to the Tale which is Undeniable.

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    Have a good St Patrick’s day, y’all, and try not to Morph and Descend into the Greater Spotted Drunken Buck Eejit and Crashing Bore, which are just so synonymous of the Serial Loser and Lost Soul.

  • Looks like my old friends at the BIIC Joint Secretariat feature in this story (or is Ms de Baroid based in ‘Bertie’s Bunker’?):

    The project had been three years in the making. Planning permission had been secured and the Department of Social Development had given Clanmil £2.9m to buy the land from a private developer, Ruskin Developments.

    With a deal almost final, a design issue arose over the architect’s plans.

    Gave plans

    In the course of a meeting on another issue, members of the community group mentioned the problem to Aine de Baroid, an Irish civil servant with the Department of Foreign Affairs who was then based in Belfast.

    She introduced them to Mr Gilligan, a well-known developer, and the group gave him the plans. He told them he would speak to his architect.

    Community worker Frank Dempsey said: “We had the plans of Nelson Street, told him what the problem was, left it with him and bid him the time of day and that was it. The next thing we hear is ‘sorry your site is sold’ and lo and behold who has bought the site – Barry Gilligan.” BBC 10 December 2009

    Is Barry Gilligan the Irish government’s ‘nominee’ on the Policing Board?