A meeting was held in Coleraine Council offices last night (2nd March) at 6.30pm to hear presentation’s from Mr Seymour Sweeney, Portballintrae residents group and Portballintrae Community Forum.
No representatives from Portballintrae residents group were in attendance at this meeting.
Samuel Turtle from Portballintrae Community Forum was first to speak and stated that their position was ‘Fully Reserved’, and went on to say that issues raised by the group had not been addressed. He also stated that Coleraine council had deprived the group the opportunity to properly prepare for an objection to Mr Sweeneys proposals because they were only informed that this meeting was taking place on the 25th Feb.
Next to speak was Seymour Sweeney who stated that his family owns a section of the West Bay Promenade in Portrush. He then said that he hoped he could reach a resolution with the council in this matter.
He then outlined his proposals in exchange for West Bay Promenade title which were as follows;
(1) Title to the remainder of the Shelly Beach opposite Seaport Lodge.
(2) Automated barrier at entrance to Seaport Avenue beside Sweeneys Wine Bar
(3) Improvements to Seaport Avenue.
(4) Regularisation of ownership and repairing conditions of slipway from car park/hotel site transferred to him on a 250 year lease.
(5) Regularisation of title to beach and infrastructure opposite Seaport Lodge.
(6) Covenants which restrict building on the Hotel site removed, the 150 year Lease for hotel site extended to 250 year.
(7) Amendments to lands currently on a 15 year lease at Sweeney’s Wine Bar increased 250 year lease.
(8) Lands immediately to the west of Sweeney’s Wine Bar given free as part of the exchange.
(9) Land to the front of Seaport Lodge – free as part of the exchange
(10) Land surrounding Seaport Lodge – 1 Acre – free as part of the exchange
West Bay Promenade Title – He will transfer ownership to Council if all other transactions are complete
Mr Sweeney stressed on several occasions throughout the meeting that the changes proposed would have ‘no effect’ on public access.
He also stated that he wanted to reach a fair and just settlement on this matter but added that if the council were to say no to his proposals that the cost litigation that would follow would be picked up by the residents of the Borough, i.e the ratepayers. He again stressed on several occasions that there would be ‘no loss of amenity’ to the public at either the West Bay Promenade in Portrush, or on lands in Portballintrae if Council agreed to the proposals.
After Mr Sweeney finished speaking, members of the public were asked to leave and the councillors went into committee to discuss the case further.
After a considerable time in committee a decision was made to defer to next Monday 9th March to allow Portballintrae action group time to present.
This case is now very much in the public domain and we have received countless messages from very concerned residents of both Portballintrae and Portrush. We will continue to report the facts as we get them, however, if you have concerns with what you read and hear then we would encourage you to get in touch with your local elected representative in Coleraine Borough Council, after all, these are the people who will be making the final decision in this case.
Causeway Coast News Team.
Local Representatives Contact Details;
Councillor D Harding
Councillor W A King
Councillor G Duddy
Councillor D D Barbour
Alderman W T Creelman
028 7083 2458 (H)
Alderman Mrs E P Fielding
Councillor M Fielding
Alderman N F Hillis
028 7082 2692 (H)
028 7082 3203 (B)
Councillor Mrs Michelle Knight-McQuillan
07793 544264 (M)
Councillor C Archibald
028 2954 2464 (SF Office)
028 2954 1909 (SF Office)
Councillor W McCandless
Councillor B Fitzpatrick
Councillor Ms C S Alexander
Alderman Mrs M T Hickey
Councillor Mrs S D Quigley
Cllr Roisin Loftus
Councillor A S Cole
Councillor Ms Y Boyle