Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 12:20 UK

Robinson 'garden grab' is passed

By Johnny Caldwell
BBC News

Peter and Iris Robinson
More than 20 objections to the scheme were lodged

A scheme which will see at least six houses built in First Minister Peter Robinson's back garden has been passed by the Planning Service.

The scheme has just received full planning permission.

It relates to 38 units to be built in his and several neighbours' gardens at Gransha Road in east Belfast.

In 2007, BBC News revealed that the then finance minister was cashing in on the property boom by selling part of his garden.

"I'm one of thousands of people who have sold land over the last few years and I don't see anything remarkable about it," Mr Robinson said at the time.

The development comprises "detached, semi-detached houses and apartments with open space, landscaping and related site works".

More than 20 objections were lodged with the Planning Service in relation to the scheme.

The buying of large gardens - or part of them - as land for development increased in Northern Ireland in the property boom years of 2002 to 2007.

This practice, as in other parts of the UK, was dubbed 'garden grabbing'.



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