Judicial review is mooted over Triangle plan

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Residents at Prince’s Gardens in Larne are considering taking legal action over plans for a supported living facility in the town.

The Planning Service has indicated it is minded to approve Triangle Housing Association’s proposal to replace the former children’s home at 4 Prince’s Gardens with a two-storey development, catering for 16 to 21-year-olds who have left care.

The facility would consist of 12 one-bedroom apartments, with further provision for round-the-clock staff. The plans also include car parking facilities, landscaping and access works.

But the plans have been met with a chorus of condemnation from local residents, who cited a range of concerns including the potential for a rise in anti-social behaviour and noise levels, impact on property values and local businesses, and damage to the character of the area.

Planners have received a total of 35 letters of objection to the plans, as well as two petitions of objections containing 87 signatures from 71 different addresses.

And the Larne Times understands that residents have now consulted a solicitor to gauge the potential for pursuing a judicial review if the application is approved.

As previously reported, Larne Borough Council has tasked a consultant with carrying out a community impact assessment (CIA) into Triangle’s proposal.

The Planning Service has said it will not make its final decision on the application until the CIA has been completed.

A Department for the Environment spokeswoman told the Times: “This application has been presented by the Department to Larne Borough Council with an opinion to grant consent.

“It was deferred on two occasions by the Council’s planning committee following objections raised by local residents. Consideration by the Department is currently ongoing.

“The Area Planning Office is awaiting the submission of further information from the Council before drawing its assessment to a conclusion.”