Police station site could be used for recycling centre

Assessing options: Cllr Phillip Brett outside Glengormley police station. INNT 05-046-FP
Assessing options: Cllr Phillip Brett outside Glengormley police station. INNT 05-046-FP

Glengormley police station could be used by Newtownabbey Borough Council for a recycling centre development, its has been claimed.

The Antrim Road barracks has been closed to the public since June 2012 and the PSNI is now taking steps to dispose of the site.

Land & Property Services, acting behalf of the PSNI, is currently in the process of circulating details of the property to other public sector bodies to establish if there is any public sector interest in acquiring the site.

And while the Northern Ireland Housing Executive has already expressed an interest in the property, Cllr Phillip Brett believes that the council could make use of the site.

The DUP representative said that the council’s Environmental department is currently looking for a suitable location for a recycling centre in “urban Newtownabbey”, and that the police station site could fit the bill.

“Given the fact that this site may be available at a low price, it is something that we should certainly be investigating,” he told the Times.

“There is also the Economic Development plan which Newtownabbey Borough Council has drawn up for Glengormley and they also have some ideas about the site, so that will also have to be brought forward to council.”

The Antrim Line councillor admits that there could be some objection from residents in the area to locating a recycling hub at the Glenwell Road site.

“If it’s something that we are going to investigate then we will certainly be carrying out a survey of the local area and the wider borough to see if it’s something that local residents would want. But we also need to take into account wider views in the borough and the fact that there needs to be a recycling centre, and whether or not there are any other available sites. If this is one of the only available sites then we would have to liaise closely with local residents to see what their response to that would be.”

Having confirmed its interest in the former police base, the Housing Executive said that it is “currently assessing its potential to meet housing need across Glengormley.”

However, Cllr Brett claimed that a report produced by the NIHE last year identified the only social housing need in Glengormley as being in Glenvarna and Queens Park.

“That need would certainly would not be met at this site,” he said. “The Housing Executive need to look at options closer to Glenvarna or Queens Park if they are wanting to meet the social need in Glengormley.”

It seems that documentation about the disposal of the site was sent to Belfast City Council by mistake, meaning officers and members at Mossley Mill haven’t yet had a chance to consider potential options for the property.

A council spokesperson confirmed that officers are still awaiting correspondence from Land & Property Services about the disposal of the site. She said that a report on the issue would be brought before councillors for consideration in due course.