Residents invited to have their say on local Planning

Jacqui Dixon, BSc MBA, Chief Executive of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and Ald Phillip Brett, Chair of the Planning Committee, launching the council's Draft Local Development Plan document.
Jacqui Dixon, BSc MBA, Chief Executive of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and Ald Phillip Brett, Chair of the Planning Committee, launching the council's Draft Local Development Plan document.

Everyone who lives and works in Antrim and Newtownabbey is being invited to have their say on the next stage of the Council’s new planning framework for how the Borough should develop up to 2030.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has launched the draft Plan Strategy for its new Local Development Plan, a key framework for guiding decisions about how the borough will grow and develop in a sustainable fashion in the coming years and complement the outcomes of its community plan – Love Living Here.

The draft Plan Strategy contains a clear vision promoting Antrim and Newtownabbey as a place of economic opportunity, a place that is vibrant and liveable and a place with a sustainable future.

The document sets out the council’s ambitions and policies for employment, infrastructure, housing and sustainable growth and follows extensive consultation with residents, businesses and statutory partners.

Speaking at the launch event in Mossley Mill, Ald John Smyth, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey said: “This is a significant milestone for our council and our citizens. The draft Plan Strategy marks the first time the council has been at the forefront of the development plan process since powers were transferred in April 2015.

“We are committed to using this powerful place-shaping tool to benefit the people who live in Antrim and Newtownabbey, those who work in our local businesses and invest in our borough and the visitors who support our growing tourism sector.

“The vouncil is committed to promoting our borough as a smart and prosperous place and ensuring that we deliver development that meets our economic and social needs without compromising the quality of our environment.”

Chair of the Planning Committee, Ald Philip Brett, said: “Planning decisions affect our housing, education, businesses, rural communities and our natural and historic environment and through the draft Plan Strategy we wish to positively and pro-actively guide development in the borough so that we can meet the needs and improve the quality of life of all our residents.

“We are a fast growing borough driven by ambition and this is recognised in the draft Plan Strategy which outlines plans for growth of nearly 10,000 new homes.

“We also have a unique offering for investment with excellent communications links, a strong portfolio of employment sites and access to high speed digital communications. The draft Plan Strategy confirms our ambition to establish the borough as a premier business location and seeks to encourage the growth of indigenous businesses, promote innovation and pro-actively attract investment to facilitate the growth of up to 9,000 new jobs by 2030.”

The draft Plan Strategy will be available to view online and in person from today until September 20, with residents, community groups, developers and statutory partners able to share their feedback from July 26.

Ald Brett added: “We are making the Strategy documents available from today to give people an extra four weeks to review and digest our proposals, before asking them to submit their views during the formal eight-week consultation period which will provide everyone with the opportunity to tell us how robust or ‘sound’ they consider our plan is in meeting our ambitions for the future growth of the borough.

“We will also shortly be holding a series of public meetings and drop in sessions across the borough, details of which are available on the council’s website, where people can learn more about the draft Plan Strategy and hear how they can have their say, so please come along.”

For more information about the Draft Local Development Plan and the related documents, check out https://antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/draftplanstrategy/