Northern Ireland news

Luke Poots adds his name to a planning application made in his mother's name

Luke Poots congratulated by his father Edwin Poots MLA after topping the poll and being elected to the Lisburn/Castlereagh super council. Picture by Cliff Donaldson

DUP councillor Luke Poots has added his name to a planning application he lodged in his mother's maiden name earlier this year.

Mr Poots, son of former Stormont minister Edwin Poots, is seeking to replace his home near Hillsborough in Co Down with three houses.

However, the former chairman of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council's planning committee initially only had the name Rachel M Gracey - the maiden name of his mother Glynis Poots.

She does not live at the property.

The details of the application were revealed by BBC News in July and Mr Poots told them the name was "to ensure that the application was dealt with fairly".

"The Poots name is associated with unionist politics," a statement via the DUP read.

"This was an attempt to have the application considered on its merits rather than through a political prism. The application process has continued for six months properly and appropriately."

However, yesterday it emerged that the planning application for Comber Road now includes the name Luke Poots.

Mr Poots is currently under investigation by the local government watchdog over an alleged conflict of interest in his role as chair of the Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council planning committee.

He is being scrutinised for voting in favour of planning decisions lobbied for by his assembly member father Edwin Poots.

Luke Poots has denied there was any conflict of interest.

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