From the pages of the Down Recorder, September 12, 2001

From the pages of the Down Recorder, September 12, 2001

8 September 2021

MINERSTOWN – Plans to develop a major new holiday village on the outskirts of Downpatrick have been made public this week.

The ambitious scheme involves the construction of 27 new holiday homes at the Minerstown caravan park on the outskirts of the town.

The mix of single and two-storey homes, which have been designed in the style of traditional farm buildings, is also expected to create a number of new jobs.

Developers say the homes, which will be developed on a seven-acre site which overlooks the Irish Sea, have been designed to offer an attractive environment for holiday accommodation within an established tourist destination and will offer economic benefits for the area.

They believe that in addition to creating a number of new jobs, the development will provide spin-offs for local shops and restaurants. In addition, a centuries old well close to the caravan park will leo be incorporated into the development scheme as one of its key features.

Local planning officials will decide within the next few weeks if they are prepared to allow construction work on the project to start.

NEWCASTLE – Newcastle residents have once again shown their determination not to have mobile telephone masts in their midst.

Up to 40 residents from the Castlewellan Road congregated at the site of a proposed BT Cellnet mast on Monday, angry that the mast will be constructed against their wishes.

They were yesterday protesting against a 10-metre mast which is due to be erected adjacent to St Patrick’s Park and beside a bus stop.

This is the second time in months that people from the area have used people power in an effort to discourage telecommunications companies from erecting masts near their homes.

A group of residents from the Bryansford area successfully prevented the installation of a mast at Moneyscalp Forest earlier this summer, and Castlewellan Road residents are hopeful that they will have the same success.

BALLYNAHINCH – Road Safety officials in Ballynahinch are stepping up their campaign for a new pedestrian crossing at Main Street.

Ballynahinch Road Safety Committee has again appealed to Roads Service officials to take on board their concerns and provide the crossing that would make Main Street much safe for pedestrians.

The Department of Regional Development has already refused an initial request to provide a new crossing, claiming it would interfere with town centre traffic.

However, Mr Jim Magee, the chairman of the Ballynahinch Road Safety Committee, has appealed for civil servants to look again at the proposal. He argues the increase in the number of cars using Main Street as a result of the introduction of a one-way system last year requires the provision of a new crossing.

COMBER – Comber town centre is in line for a major £40m investment.

WAD developments has taken the wraps off the multi-million pound cash injection which is aimed at providing several hundred new apartments at the former Andrews Mill complex in the town.

The development also includes a new leisure complex, complete with swimming pool.

The scheme is one of the biggest and most imaginative refurbishment schemes undertaken in the Province and the developers say the scheme is loosely based on Harrods building in London.

The new mill village, which has been designed by Robinson and McIlwaine, will retain much of the mill structure and the ambience of the former linen mill and capitalise on the existing historic fabric of the buildings.

DOWNPATRICK – The blaring siren of speeding ambulances makes most people spare a thought for those in trouble But it is rare for those behind the wheel to become the focus of public attention.

The Downpatrick branch of the Ambulance Service, which was founded over 30 years go, was finally given official recognition with the presentation of a unique bravery award at the station on Thursday.

The award, recognising service staff’s impartial commitment to their work, was presented to staff of the local station by Ambulance Service Trust chairman, Mr Doug Smyth.

Mr Bill Hamilton, who is the station’s longest serving staff member, received the award on behalf of his present and past colleagues.

Admitting that the service has chafed beyond recognition since he joined it in its infancy over 30 years ago, Mr Hamilton said the staff quota had increased tenfold from three to 30.

SHRIGLEY – A  call has been made for the demolition of a former tannery in Shrigley after a teenager was injured when he feel through the roof of the derelict building.

Killyleagh community worker, Billy Walker, has called for the building to be demolished after his 13 year-old stepson, Wayne, broke his shoulder and a bone in his spine in the fall.

Wayne, and a group of friends were exploring the disused factory site and had climbed onto the roof when part of it gave way. Wayne fell heavily and after initial treatment in the Downe Hospital, was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Mr Walker is now appealing to parents to warn their children away from empty buildings and wants the former tannery pulled down.

KILLARD – Members of the Northern Ireland branch of Butterfly Conservation carried out a count of butterflies at various locations throughout Down District recently.

A total of nine sites were visited between the Quoile Pondage and Newcastle during the event, on Sunday, September 2, with Killard National Nature Reserve the most productive, with 10 species recorded at that site alone.

Mr Clem Shaw, from the conservation group, said the event had been a great success.

CARRYDUFF – A new chapter in the history of the Elkana Christian Fellowship in Carryduff opened last Saturday when a new purpose-built building was officially dedicated.

The service at the Comber Road premises was conducted by Pastor William Cunningham, who welcomed members, friends and representatives from neighbouring churches. He gave a brief history about how the Fellowship had formed just over 10 years ago as a small house-group.

He said while all the members were rejoicing with him on this momentous occasion, he reminded the congregation that all the glory belonged to God for providing the new building. 

DRUMANESS – Roads Service officials have been criticised for the delay in implementing a new traffic management scheme in Drumaness.

Councillor Patsy Toman said senior officials with the Department of Regional Development promised the new scheme would be operational by now.

His criticism came during a meeting of the village’s SDLP branch when Mr Toman said it is vital new traffic calming measures are provided without further delay.

He had hoped the work would have taken place over the summer months and is bitterly disappointed nothing has happened.

“Children are now back at school and the roads in the village continue to be used by an increasing amount of traffic and it is  vital the scheme is implemented,” he added.

KILLYLEAGH – Parishioners in Killyleagh Parish Church have this week condemned vandals for smashing two stained glass windows.

The broken windows were discovered before last Sunday’s regular morning service by parishioner Tommy Russell who said the incident, and the use of the nearby graveyard as a drinking den, has shocked everyone connected with the church.

A former churchwarden, Mr Russell said a three inch hole has been punched in one of the church’s historic stained glass windows, but admitted it is unclear what caused the damage.

He said a ball or a stone may have been thrown at the windows and revealed suspicion is pointing at the teenagers who are drinking in the grounds of the church.

Mr Russell said they have been gathering with increasing regularity at a summer seat at the back of the church which over looks Strangford Lough.

“Empty beer bottles are found at this part of the church property on a regular basis and just a few weeks ago, a full box of empties was collected,” he explained.