Decision on Glenarm plan deferred to June

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News

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s planning committee has deferred a decision on Glenarm Regeneration Scheme until its June meeting.

At a pre-determination hearing on May 5, members voted for more time to carry out a site visit, and requested that 3D drawings of the housing element of the scheme be presented at the next meeting.

An objector told councillors that requests for a site meeting and 3D drawings had been “ignored or refused”.

“Without these, none of you can be expected to visualise the irreparable damage that will be done to this special location,” he stated.

He added that the entire harbour area had been designated as a major environmental improvement scheme for amenity use, and that this was protected by planning legisltion.

“Currently there are applications to buy and build more than 50 homes in Glenarm village,” he continued.

“The council also owns the old quarry and the old primary school, both of which are suitable for housing. There is no need for housing in the harbour.”

Michael Gordon of planning consultancy Turley’s objected to the “quality of the planning assessment” presented to councillors and the lack of photomontages to allow proper assessment of the proposal’s impact.

He said there had been a “failure to properly apply new legislation on conservation areas” and other parts of the planning policy framework. He said that the council’s report made no reference to the fact that the site had been zoned for major environmental improvement.

Speaking in support of the plan, Leslie Morrow said there was a need for more housing to enable younger generations to remain in the village. He added that more housing would help economic growth, allowing shops and businesses to grow, and that the development would provide facilities for tourists.

Cllr Stephen Nicholl’s proposal to defer the decision until the June meeting and to hold a site meeting before this, as well as to procure 3D drawings, was seconded by Cllr Paul Reid andadopted by the committee on a vote of seven for, and four against.