Sinn Féin representative Mairéad O’Donnell has called on Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to urgently engage with the Short Strand community’s campaign for the relocation of the Translink Bus Depot away from the area.
Speaking today Ms O’Donnell said:
“I welcome the Minister’s commitment to a ‘green recovery’ – any such recovery has to include the relocation of large pollutants out of residential communities.
“As a result of a motion I brought to Belfast City Council, officers recently concluded a search that identified six alternative sites for this depot.
“While pedestrianising a number of city centre streets is welcome, action is needed in the Short Strand area which has had the highest rates of new cancer diagnoses in the whole of the East Belfast parliamentary constituency as well as identified problems with respiratory and other associated diseases.
“I have written to the Minister to invite her to visit the area – once safe to do so – and meet with the campaign here, the youth, community and sporting groups, as well as local residents, who want to see this site positively transformed for the welfare, health and prosperity of people here.
“I look forward to working with the Minister and hope she will appreciate and understand the very real and immediate need to relocate the depot to a more suitable site so that the people in the Short Strand can finally have a breather.”