I was shocked and angered to learn that the British army has an informal veto over the planning process in South Armagh. Martin Clarke revealed that the Ministry of Defence had held up an application by Northern Ireland Electricity to connect his new home in Dromintee to the electricity grid.
NIE requires planning permission to erect five electricity poles that will carry power to Martin's new home. After a delay of several months he was told this week that planners had finally "received approval" from the British army for the poles.
“This caused me a major inconvenience. NIE did a survey and got permission from the landowners and it was referred to the planners. I was told that they then referred the matter to the Ministry of Defence in London, where it was probably left in a corner somewhere. This job should have been done in September but I'm still waiting to get into my new home. I was very surprised to learn that the hold-up was caused by the British army,”
Local Sinn Féin councillor Anthony Flynn said he was concerned at revelations that the British army had a say in approving planning applications in South Armagh.
“It appears to be a fact that the British army have the veto over planning applications in south Armagh, and I am led to believe that this does not happen in any other area throughout the Six Counties,”
The British army shouldn't have any say in planning applications anywhere in the North but it hardly comes as a surprise that they have aquired them in South Armagh.
Anthony added: “It is essential to learn how far-reaching this veto is. People are asking have the British army an input to all planning applications including housing, which in effect is a veto,”
This is a disgrace and should be clarifed and stopped ASAP!