LARNE’S historic Ballyloran House is to retain its status as a protected building, despite calls from the council for it to be de-listed.
The once-grand property on Ballyhampton Road – which dates back to the 19th century – was granted listed status in 2002, but the derelict farm house has since been extensively vandalised and become the cause of several neighbour complaints.
Last May, the Department of the Environment asked the Historic Building Council to consider urgently removing the property from the list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest, a move which the local authority backed.
But following a review, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency concluded that Ballyloran House “remains worthy” of its listed status, despite the damage it has sustained over the years.
In a letter to the property owner, Cherry Tree Holdings (copied to Larne Borough Council), NIEA director of built heritage Michael Coulter said: “I appreciate that this means that your preferred option, of removing the building to stop vandalism and anti-social behaviour, will not now be possible.”
Mr Coulter asked the developer to repair the property while “wider planning issues are processed”. He also recommended that a tenant be placed in the property. It was a “highly effective” way of securing a building against vandalism and antisocial behaviour while long term decisions are made, he added.
“If you decide not to take this course of action, then please ensure that the building remains secure,” Mr Coulter urged.