A multi-million pound redevelopment of the area around Glengormley Police Station could still become a reality, according to local councillors.
Council-appointed consultants are currently in the process of drawing up a concept plan for the possible transformation of the area around Glenwell Road, including the former barracks and existing commercial units. However, the PSNI’s push to dispose of the vacant property looked to have scuppered the possibility of a major economic regeneration project at the site.
The PSNI previously informed the council that it would not hold up the sale of the property to give the consultants time to complete the plan. But following a meeting between senior PSNI representatives and NBC assistant chief executive Hugh Kelly, DUP Cllr Phillip Brett, UUP Cllr Mark Cosgrove and Sinn Fein Cllr Michael Goodman on Monday (September 29), it looks likely that moves to sell will now be postponed to allow the council time to consider the completed concept plan, due to be published next month, and take a decision on whether or not to make a bid to purchase the site.
At Monday night’s full council meeting, Cllr Brett informed members that the PSNI would be writing to the council within the next few days about the issue, but said he was “99 per cent sure” that it would grant the requested three-month extension.
Cllr Cosgrove, who organised the meeting at PSNI headquarters, added: “I am delighted that the working relationships we have developed with senior PSNI command have resulted in a successful meeting and it is great to see complete cross-party support for the council’s outline proposal to purchase the police station as part of the overall Glengormley masterplan.”
The success of the Glenwell plan, which could see a modern purpose-built entertainments complex, restaurants and other business units constructed at the site, would depend on the council getting agreement from land and business owners, as well as securing significant government and private sector investment.
The Antrim Road barracks, which closed to the public in June 2012, has been valued at around £135,000.
The site has also been earmarked by the Housing Executive for a possible social housing project.
The Times asked the PSNI for a comment on the matter, but it had not responded at the time of publication.