A leading estate agency which described a housing development as being in an “ideal location” – while omitting any reference to Northern Ireland’s biggest dump just 400 yards up the road - has refused to say whether it will change its marketing material for the houses.
Yesterday the News Letter revealed that Simon Brien Residential made the claim in a brochure for the Cottonmount Manor development on the Sealstown Road in Mallusk.
Yet nowhere in the brochure is there any mention of the huge landfill site into which waste from Belfast and two other council areas is dumped and which has led to complaints about a foul smell in the area.
A major working quarry is just behind the landfill site, while the development also backs directly onto a major concrete plant.
The estate agent’s brochure includes a map to illustrate where the development is situated. The map omits any mention of the nearby dump, despite including Jordanstown train station, some six miles away, and Fortwilliam Golf Club, which is seven miles away in Belfast.
The News Letter asked Simon Brien why it had not mentioned the dump, while describing the development as being in an area of “picturesque surroundings and rural charm” and part of a “delightful environment”.
But instead of answering the question, a member of staff at the firm threatened to sue this newspaper to secure “substantial compensation against you together with our legal costs” if we published “defamatory remarks” which led to “reputational damage”.
Then, in a solicitor’s letter, the firm said that it had “absolutely no reply” to the questions.
Yesterday the News Letter asked the firm if it would consider re-wording its promotional material after the issue of the dump was drawn to its attention.
However, at the time of going to press there had been no response.