HC Deb 10 July 2003 vol 408 c947W
Mr. Dodds

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when work will start on construction of housing on the site of the former Somerdale School in Belfast. [124477]

Mr. Spellar

In response to community representations that the scheme would infringe their human rights, the PSNI, which has a responsibility to advise on new proposals such as this, undertook to review its original advice that the scheme could proceed. That undertaking was given at a public meeting on 4 June 2003 and the PSNI report is still awaited. The scheme is therefore delayed meantime.

However, subject to a positive response from PSNI, my Department and the Housing Executive, which is taking the lead in trying to resolve the community issues at local level, are firmly committed to seeing this much needed scheme start on site at the earliest possible date. We have given commitments to local residents that they will be fully consulted beforehand.

Provided the outstanding difficulties are resolved, it is hoped that the scheme can start in 2004–05.

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