The advisory group panel was established in March 2006 and was chaired by Roy Adams, an urban planner. It included politicians as well as representatives from the community sector and statutory agencies, and a firm of consultants, Building Design Partnership, was appointed to facilitate the work.
...it is clear that much greater consideration needs to be given to the issue of housing if communities are to be assured that the site will not become the preserve of one side or the other. The Panel recognises that the situation in North Belfast is an exceptional one and that cross-community support will be vital to successful development of the site, particularly with regard to housing. The Panel believes that the work started by the cross-community meetings should be followed through with a combination of further dialogue and a cross-Departmental, multi-agency approach to development ideas. Fundamental to obtaining community support will be ongoing commitment by government to securing the regeneration of the deprived residential areas adjacent to the site. This must be done in a way that empowers these communities, making them vibrant, outward-looking and positive, enabling them to play a key role in shaping the regeneration of this disadvantaged part of North Belfast. The Panel recommends, therefore, the continuation of cross-community dialogue on the housing issue, which should involve learning more about successful initiatives elsewhere, in terms of mixed-use, multi- tenure regeneration projects. With time, dialogue and goodwill, the Panel is convinced that a solution will be found to this very sensitive issue.