Green light given for more new housing in Ballyclare

The site at The Square, Ballyclare, where one of the new developments is to be constructed. INNT 16-802CON
The site at The Square, Ballyclare, where one of the new developments is to be constructed. INNT 16-802CON

Plans for two new housing developments in Ballyclare were approved by the council’s Planning Committee at their meeting on Monday, April 18.

The proposed developments will see a total of 117 homes being constructed on two sites in the town.

Planning permission was approved for a total of 78 properties on an area of land between Fairview Primary School and Grange Drive. This major development will consist of 18 apartments, 20 townhouses and 40 semi-detached houses.

The proposal also involves the provision of communal open space and a landscaping proposal and management plan. The total of 78 properties is a reduced number from the original application, which was for 81 units to be constructed.

A number of conditions were imposed on the application. These included, work on the development being started before the expiration of five years from the date of the permission, no other development shall be occupied until the works necessary for the improvement of a public road have been completed, as well as all hard and soft landscape works being provided and maintained in accordance with the approved landscape proposals.

Planning permission was also approved for 39 apartments and a ground floor unit for community use on the site of the former Woodsides store located on The Square. This will consist of a four storey building with semi-basement parking. In total there will be 26 three-person apartments consisting of two bedrooms and 13 two-person apartments, each containing one bedroom. The development by Choice Housing will provide new homes for “actively elderly” people aged 55 plus.

Describing the site, a council spokesperson said: “The application site occupies a visually prominent corner of The Square at its junction with Granges Street. The site falls perceptibly from north west to south east, with its boundaries defined by The Square, Granges Street, Park Street and to the south an unnamed lane way. It has been vacant for some time and has security fencing at each of its four boundaries.”

In total, there will be 14 parking spaces, including four disabled spaces, provided in a semi-basement of the building.

Cllr Jim Bingham questioned the parking provision at the site. The UUP representative said: “The number of spaces does not appear to be enough and the parking at The Square is not free.”

Council Planning Officer, Michael O’Reilly, stated that there was sufficient parking in other areas close to the site.

Calls have previously been made by a number of politicians, saying no further developments should be permitted in the town until a planned relief road is built. It is still unclear if or when work on the bypass road will commence.