SAINTFIELD — Work has been stopped on the construction of a Saintfield factory while planners sort out a bitter dispute in which the company has been accused of failing to abide by their original landing agreement.
The company, Dorphin Unit Buildings, of Castlereagh, have already erected the shell of the factory more than six feet higher than expected.
The hard-hitting accusations come from the six families who live in Windmill Hollow, a cul-de-sac on the outskirts of Saintfield. They opposed the erection of the factory from the outset, but are incensed more than ever now that the shell has been found to be bigger than they were led to believe.
They claim that the “monstrosity” completely spoils their view of the surrounding countryside and has not been properly landscaped to blend in with the surroundings.
Numerous Down councillors have visited the site, including Saintfield councillor, Mr W J Finlay, who said the planners’ approval of the factory was completely at odds with the Mid Down area planning statement which suggested that a park could be built on the site.
DOWNPATRICK — A Downpatrick jeweller died when he fell fifteen feet in a climbing accident at Fair Head, near Ballycastle. He was 30 year-old Seamus Anthony Billane, who worked at Murphy Jewellers in Market Street as a goldsmith.
Mr Billane, who came originally from Crumlin in Dublin had been climbing on the Antrim Coast with two companions. It is believed he was half way down the 30-feet deep Descent Gully when one of the holds on the climbing rope gave way.
An experienced mountaineer, he had been on climbing expeditions in the Himalayas, as well as in South America and Greenland.
NEWCASTLE — The Eastern Health and Social Services Board formally took possession of the new extension at Newcastle Clinic in a small presentation at the clinic.
The vice-chairman of the Board, Lt-Col K C C Smith, received the keys of the three-room extension from Mr McAuley, representing the building contractors, Kane & McAuley, of Castlewellan.
The ceremony was attended by the nursing and social services staff at the clinic, as well as Mr George Flinn, district administrative officer, Miss Gillings, district administrative nursing officer, and Mr Prytherch, district social services officer.
Before the extension the staff of four women in the social services department of the clinic had to work together in one office. The facilities were not adequate for the work carried out. It had been necessary to interview members of the public requiring help in the corridor beside the office as it was the only place where there was any privacy.
Now with the new extension a much greater degree of confidentiality can be obtained between staff and members of the public. While the extension is a small one, it does mean a big change in the facilities. The cost of the extension was over £6,000.
CARRYDUFF — Shock figures from the USPCA at Carryduff show that already in the first three months of this year nearly 1,500 dogs have had to be destroyed.
A total of 1,350 homeless animals have been put down and the horrifying estimate is that some 5,500 dogs could die at Carryduff by the end of the year.
Those figures are for Belfast stray dogs alone and the USPCA reckon that over the whole province the death toll will be even higher than last year when 13,000 dogs were humanely destroyed.
Hope may well be on the way for dog lovers shocked by these figures in the shape of new legislation currently being rushed through Parliament. USPCA officials hope that this will help them in their fight against the people who abandon their unwanted pets.
BALLYNAHINCH — Seventeen year-old Patrick Lannigan has been chosen to play wit the British Youth Symphony Orchestra, which is made of the most talented young musicians in the UK, for the second year in succession.
Patrick, of Hillfoot Crescent in Ballynahinch, plays the double bass and studies at the South Eastern Music Centre in Ballynahinch. He has been principal double bass with the Irish Youth Orchestra for the past three years and was chosen for the British Orchestra for the first time last year.
Patrick will play at two concerts in London next week. After he takes his A-Levels in June at St Malachy’s College, Belfast, he hopes to go on to music college.
CROSSGAR — Crossgar Cricket Club are ‘all out’ for the fourth time with the new of yet another break-in.
The latest break-in occurred last week and is the fourth to take place since the end of the 1976 season. The vandals gained entry by making a hole in the roof and climbing down. They smashed crockery, stole cutlery and caused other damage.
In an effort to ‘get back at the wicket’ before the new season starts Crossgar residents are invited to come along to a special public meeting in the village where club members will appeal for help.
The club secretary, Mr Ken Cunningham, said: “This is a great setback, but we hope that with the help of all our members and other interested parties we will be able to begin the season as usual.”
BALLYTRUSTAN — Top archaeologists who came to the Downpatrick area last week to examine a newly discovered souterrain got quite a shock — it wasn’t there.
When the experts arrived at the field at Ballytrustan where the ancient tunnel had been found they found that it had been filled in. The farmer who owns the land had gone ahead and filled the hole to prevent any accidents.
Because the farmer has also reseeded the field, the experts will now have to wait until the autumn before they can get into the ancient souterrain to examine it.
Mr Chris Lynn, from the Archaeological Survey Department, said: “The farmer was naturally concerned about the danger of youngsters falling into the tunnel, so he blocked it up.”
DUNDRUM — Work began last week on new £90,000 road improvement scheme in Dundrum, but a large portion of the Main Street has had to be left out of the plans.
Some 250 yards of the Main Street at the Castle Hill junction have not been scheduled for improvement because of difficulties in land acquisition.
The Department of the Environment have decided to press on with the rest of the scheme, which will provide 800 metres of new road through the village.
Welcoming the news, local councillor, Mr Jarlath Carey, called on the Department to use the extension to provide car parking facilities in the village.
BALLYGOWAN — People in Ballygowan can relax — plans have now been agreed to allow a new sewage scheme to go ahead without ruining the village’s football pitch.
It had been feared that the sewage work would entail taking a four-metre strip off the pitch to give construction vehicles access to the site.
However, a compromise has been reached which should solve the problem. The Department of the Environment’s Water Service have changed their plans and now a much smaller acre of land will be required and a new access road will not encroach on the football pitch.
Ards councillors have agreed to the amended plans and so it seems that the extension to Ballygowan’s sewage scheme can go ahead without affecting the weekly soccer.
SEAFORDE — Comedienne Marjorie Rea topped the bill at the annual variety concert held by Seaforde Young Farmers’ Club in the McCammon Memorial Hall.
The list of artistes comprised members of the club as well as a number of guests, one of the highlights of the evening being a performance by club members of ‘Anchors Aweigh,’ which proved a success at the YFCU Arts Festival.