The penny's dropped!! Or has it??
Katrina feels "betrayed" by the planning service. Fuck me!! What did she expect??!!
After all the meetings she had with "the Head of the Planning Office" and "Lord Rooker", and,
"Just you wait and see. It's all gonna change here. They've promised me".
Was the big surprise the HMO "cap" that David Farrell publicly welcomed as a "Great victory"?
Now the "chairwoman 0f the Holyland Regeneration Project" feels "betrayed by the planners".
Of 89 planning applications only 2 have been refused. If you're wondering about the 41 that are still under consideration, the landlords have a simple solution, demolish the house. Look at 16 Rugby avenue. It no longer exists. Only the front remains while Michael McMahon waits for his approval.
There are other options. Burn your own property. No-one can pretend that this is not professional arson. Two adjacent houses in Fitzroy Avenue went up simultaneously. They were sealed with steel shutters. The Fire Brigade could not gain access. Someone had to enter the buildings, plant multiple timed incendiaries, exit and seal the shutters up again. This is a pro who knows what they're doing. In another house in the same street all three stories went up simultaneously, hardly an amateur job. A lesser class of arsonist exists. A house in Rugby Avenue was recently purchased and promptly torched. Damage was minimal. The Fire Brigade suppressed it with ease. Still, it can now be declared a derilict and get a whopping great grant from the Housing Executive.
Rugby Avenue is being raped house by house. The huge back gardens are being built up right to the entry. The precedent has been set by Declan Boyle and Kerry O'Donnell. Every house in a 200 yard long terrace, bar the three or four owned by the Housing Executive, will go the same way.
It's time again to ask who are these "representatives" who have failed so miserably. First of all they can't decide what they are or what to call themselves. Is it the "Holyland Regeneration Association"? or the "Holyland Residents' Group"? or the " Belfast Holyland Residents' Association"? or the "Holyland Regeneration Project"? The South Belfast News seems unable to decide and so calls them all of the above depending on the article.
This is of course highly disingenuous. A "residents' group" is ostensibly run by the community for the community. We all know that in Northern Ireland nothing's that simple, but the pretence exists. A "regeneration project" runs on the "parnership" principle which, when I studied the subject, was called the "collaborative approach to community action". Such groups are funded by state and powerful private bodies and service a corporate agenda. With the passing of the troubles many have become "New Deal" training centres aggressively promoting benefit slavery. By their nature they are anti-democratic and act as enforcers or the equivalent of the American prison "trusty". Such is the case with most "residents' groups", but that's for another essay.
So, I conclude with some simple questions. What is the name of this group? When was it formed? Who elected the committee and when? Who are the committee? Who are the members of this entity? Are they the usual suspects; Gerard Morgan, a non-resident; Katrina O'Neill; David Farrell; and Tony McGuinness? Who do they represent? It's surely not this community, the handfull that remain. What have they acheived? Their own cry of "betrayal" exposes their failure. One could argue that they have in fact succeeded. The area has been raped to death by landlords, and that, in it's own way, is regeneration. They have acted as the perfect PR front for the Universities, their "partners in the community". The general public beleives the Holylands has been sorted. They're right, it has, just not in the way they think.