Conflict over Coast Road dwelling plan

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COUNCILLORS have come to blows over a proposal to build a house on the seaward side of the Coast Road.

Mr and Mrs B Donaldson, of 294 Coast Road, Ballygally, submitted an application to the Planning Service to erect a single storey dwelling and garage opposite their house.

But during a heated discussion at the latest monthly meeting of Larne Council, Alderman Winston Fulton strongly urged against any new premises being built on that side of the road.

He said: “There have been no new buildings put up on the seawards side of the Coast Road since this council was formed back in 1979. The council stood by this policy again in 2007, when an application came forward for a new building in Ballygally.

“I wish to propose that this council stands by that policy. The Coast Road is one of Northern Ireland’s tourism gems and it would be a pity to see buildings going up on the seaward side.”

The DUP man proposed that the application be referred to the planning management board for review, which was seconded by Councillor Drew Niblock.

However, the planning officer told members that the applicant had already received permission to erect the house a number of years ago under a previous application, and stressed that the Department could do nothing to stop the house from being built.

She added: “This is a very unusual application as we are having to give consideration to an approval that took place years ago. The applicant could build the house tomorrow, and the only question we are now asking is if we can change the design of the property.”

Ald Roy Beggs added: “We can talk about this until the cows come home but it won’t change anything. The management board won’t accept this as it is not a big enough issue.

“The only way forward is to accept what is before us, but reiterate the views of Larne Borough Council regarding houses being built on that side of the Coast Road.”

Ald Beggs’s counter-proposal was agreed and passed by a majority of members, much to the ire of Ald Fulton.