Ritchie Calls For Development Plan For Old Downe Hospital Site In The Wake Of A Recent Fire

Another fire has occurred at the site of the old Pound Lane health clinic in Downpatrick now lying derelict.

Youths were seen in the vicinity prior to the fire around the middle of the evening last Monday (12 September 2016) and police are now investigating. In recent years there have been a number of suspicious fires at Pound Lane.

A photo from October 2012 when the former Pund Lane Clinic at the site of the old St John's residential Home was destoyed in an arson blaze.
A photo from October 2012 when the former Pund Lane Clinic at the site of the old St John’s residential Home was destoyed in an arson blaze.

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said: “I utterly condemn the wanton destruction and mindless arson at the Old Downe Hospital site last night.

“It is crucial those responsible for this crime are made amenable to the law and I would urge anyone with information to make it known to the PSNI.

“Now is also the time for the owner of the site to come forward with a development plan for this strategic location. This area was identified as a key zone of economic regeneration by the Downpatrick Masterplan.

“It is imperative the site owner, together with Newry Mourne and Down District Council Planning Service and instrumental Government bodies work together to provide an economic regeneration plan for the betterment and future development of business, trade and housing in Downpatrick.

“I have made urgent and robust representations to the First and Deputy First Minister, Minister for Communities and Chief Executive of the Council outlining the vital need for an implementation plan for this area.”

dn_screenPolice are appealing for information following a suspicious fire that occurred at a derelict building in the Pound Lane area of Downpatrick on the evening of Monday 12 September.

Just after 8.50pm police received the report of the fire.

Sergeant Ballard said: “The NIFRS have declared this fire to be deliberate. It is reported that a number of youths were seen at the premises earlier that evening. This site is derelict and dangerous and should not be entered without authority.

“I do not want to see anyone get hurt, seriously injured or worse so my advice is simple – think about your own safety and do NOT enter.

“I would ask anyone with any information about this incident to contact Downpatrick Police Station on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 1304 of 12/09/16.

“Or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”