Residents voice concerns over Glenarm regeneration plans

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Plans to transform Glenarm into one of the jewels of the Causeway coastal route have been deferred after concerns were voiced by residents.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is aiming to redevelop the waterfront and former quarry area of the village.

Building on the work carried out previously by the Princes’ Foundation, Todd Architects have drawn up a number of proposals designed to make Glenarm a top-drawer tourist destination.

The project includes the redevelopment of the Eglinton Yard and waterfront area, the creation of a number of new houses and apartments, a new cafe and retail units.

The plans were due to be discussed at this next month’s planning committee, but the council has decided to defer the application until the New Year after some local residents expressed concerns over aspects of the project design.

The local authority hosted a public meeting in Glenarm to give residents the opportunity to ask questions about the scheme.

A council spokesman told the Times: “A number of design issues were raised at the public meeting which are now being considered.”

He added that concerns were also raised over “the level of community consultation” in respect to the planning application.

“The application is therefore not expected to go before the planning committee until sometime in the New Year,” the spokesman added.

“A Glenarm Regeneration Steering Group has also been established to oversee the regeneration strategy for the village.”

Coast Road Councillor Ruth Wilson, who sits on the steering group, told the Times: “The majority of people are in favour of this project, but there is an element of opposition.

“The concerns seem to centre around the proposed height of the apartment block, and some people think this will detract from the views in the village.

“This project is very much about being sensitive to the rich heritage of Glenarm, so this is an important point which needs to be addressed.

“The planners will take these concerns on board before the application is brought before council.”

East Antrim MLA Gordon Lyons added: “I want to thank the council, particularly head of planning Paul Duffy, for the willingness to engage with local people.

“To me, this seems like a genuine consultation process where the views of residents are taken on board and will be addressed.

“I welcome the decision to defer this application until the New Year, to allow more time for consideration of the issued raised.”