Alliance Call For Bishopscourt Area To Be Demilitarised

Ballyhornan and Bishopscourt areas need to have military infrastructure removed by MOD says Alliance

The people of Ballyhornan and Bishopscourt have spoken! They want all of the military structures such as fences removed and vital infrastructure such as sewers and lighting brought up to acceptable standards.

Alliance Westminster Candidate Michelle Guy was in Ballyhornan this past week campaigning with local Councillor Cadogan Enright and at the doors local residents voiced their calls to see the military fences and structures removed which blight the area.

Michelle Guy, Strangford Alliance candidate, said: “The way in which the RAF abandoned Ballyhornan was deplorable.

“In recent years the Ballykelly army base in County Derry was decommissioned in a sensible manner not leaving a list of problems for residents to deal with.

“This move from Ballykelly ensured that the sewer systems were handed over to NI Water, pavements and roads were handed over to the Roads Service and public areas maintained as green spaces under local council control.

“Councillor Enright has explained to me how when the RAF left Ballyhornan and Bishopscourt in 1991, none of these basic steps to care for the future of the community were carried out.

Michelle Guy, the Alliance candidate for Strangford, pictured doing a canvass in the Ballyhornan / Bishopscourt area. One of the hot topics raised at the doors was the unsightly military infrastructure left after the RAF pulled out over three decades ago.

“If elected as MP for Strangford, I would ensure that the inter-agency group is given the status it once had on the legacy Down District Council.

“I will personally seek to ensure that MPs and MLAs for the area work together on a cross-party basis to get the infrastructure deficit in Ballyhornan addressed again once and for all.”

Ballyhornan Development Association have worked with other partners to create the Ballyhornan Inter-Agency Realm Working Group which is charged with having government departments and Council work to reduce the dereliction and lack of facilities in the Ballyhornan/Bishopscourt area.

Since the merger with Newry District Council and Down District Council into Newry Mourne and Down District Council, the new super-council has downgraded the realm group so that MPs and MLAs are no longer invited to meetings, and meetings now rarely happen.

Councillor Enright added: “I have been working with the Ballyhornan Development Association for many years to ensure that pavements and pathways link the different parts of the village and create a safe route to the family centre at Bishopscourt.

“This requires a network of streetlights with Ballyhornan being the only significant urban development in County Down with large areas unlit at night.

“This absence of street lights may have been acceptable during the second world war when Germans were flying overhead, but it’s no longer acceptable in the year 2024.”