Council to push ahead with £10m Glenwell plan

Glengormley Police Station closed to the public in June 2012. The PSNI is now keen to dispose of the property.
Glengormley Police Station closed to the public in June 2012. The PSNI is now keen to dispose of the property.

Newtownabbey Borough Council has agreed to push ahead with plans for a multi-million pound regeneration project in the Glenwell area of Glengormley.

At the meeting of full council on December 22, members ratified an earlier decision by the Development Committee to move forward with the ambitious scheme, which would require the purchase of Glengormley Police Station, valued at £185,000.

Sinn Fein Councillor Gerry O’Reilly proposed an amendment that any plans to develop the former barracks site should include provision of housing.

However, in the absence of his party colleague, Cllr Marie Mackessy, who arrived late to the meeting, Cllr O’Reilly failed to find a seconder for his amendment.

The Greater Glenwell Road Area concept plan, drawn up for the council by consultants Aecom, could see the long-term redevelopment of the area from Glenwell Road to Farmley car park.

The plan states that development of “a unique leisure hub” incorporating a variety of leisure attractions and restaurants “has the potential to appeal to visitors and residents.”

At their December committee meeting, members were informed that the scheme could cost around £10million and would require significant buy-in from government departments, local land/business owners and private sector investors.

Councillors for the area have hailed the ambitious project as “a fantastic opportunity” and “a once in a lifetime opportunity for Glengormley.”

The council will now register its interest in purchasing the police station from the PSNI and initiate a wider consultation process regarding possible plans for the site.

The former barracks, which closed to the public in June 2012, has also attracted the interest of the Housing Executive, which has earmarked the property as a potential site for social housing.