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Desertcreat process has been a catalogue of errors and bad judgement - Elliott

Ulster Unionist Justice spokesperson Tom Elliott has said that a catalogue of errors and bad judgement has led to the plans for Police & Fire Training College at Cookstown being halted.

Mr Elliott said:

“There has been significant concern for some time about the possibility of this project going ahead. The £130 million project has been beset with problems from the start.

“This was a very ambitious project on a green field site, when many argued that a much more cost effective project could have been delivered by using an existing site that had infrastructure already in place.

“When the green light was given for the project it had widespread support. However poor estimates were brought forward about the costing of the project, and fears were realised with the confirmation that the project would run hugely over budget.

“It is clear that there has been a catalogue of errors and poor judgement in decisions taken in relation to this proposed development, all of which has shown those progressing it in a very poor light.”

Cookstown Ulster Unionist Councillor Trevor Wilson said:

“Given the positive benefits that this College was going to deliver for the people of Mid Ulster, the decision to discontinue the proposal will be seen as a huge blow to the local area.

“It has proven to be nothing more than a false sense of hope and security to the people of Northern Ireland but more specifically to the Cookstown and Mid Ulster area. This decision will see 1,000’s of jobs disappear from a community that currently is in bad need of support.”

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