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Submission to the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan

for the Cavehill Area of Belfast


1) Introduction

The document "Shaping Our Future - Regional Strategic Framework for Northern Ireland", recognises that Northern Ireland is "faced with the key challenge of providing a high quality of life for all of its citizens". One of its key guiding principles is "A people and community focused approach - which … recognises that local identity and sense of place are important qualities valued by … urban … communities, and respects their desire to protect positive features of local environments…"

It is hoped that the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP) will follow this approach and accordingly this paper is presented by the Cavehill Residents Action Group (CRAG). It seeks to represent the views of the residents in the Cavehill area (see map at Appendix 1) with regard to the protection and enhancement of their distinctive environment which is currently under threat.

We describe below the nature of our area, and the aspects which we wish to preserve, protect and maintain. Given the unique "Urban Village" environment in which we live, preservation and enhancement of the many positive elements of our area is at the core of our thinking

2) The Nature of our Area

22 Old Cavehill Road - built in 1874

Shops at the top of the Cavehill Road

Chichester Park South

View of the Cavehill from the Old Cavehill Road

Cavehill Methodist Church and adjoining Catholic Church

3)Future Developments;

Having established above the nature and quality of our area, any future developments should set out to preserve, protect and maintain its overwhelmingly positive character. We should also aim to enhance the ambience of our area, and where possible, remove or improve poor quality facilities such as the many hot-food bars, etc. Anything which threatens to bring a deterioration to our area or community should be opposed.

House in Palace Gardens

A hot food bar amongst shops on the Cavehill Road (also a busy road crossing point)