£4million development plan for Highways Hotel site

An aerial view of the proposed housing development site at the former Highways Hotel plot. INLT-08-709-con
An aerial view of the proposed housing development site at the former Highways Hotel plot. INLT-08-709-con

Plans have been submitted to transform Larne’s derelict former Highways Hotel site into a £4million residential development.

The application, which has been submitted by Rosemount Homes Ltd, would see 31 dwellings erected at the site on the junction of Ballyhampton Road and Donaghy’s Lane.

The Highways Hotel. INLT 36-409-PR

The Highways Hotel. INLT 36-409-PR

The 1.28 hectare plot has lain empty since the popular hotel shut its doors in 2010.

Now, a planning application for 28 semi-detached homes, one detached home and two bungalows has been put forward which could breathe new life into the once-bustling hotel site.

The site has not been subject to any previous planning applications for residential development.

In a supporting statement for the application, TSA Planning says the new development would provide a “high quality and sustainable residential development” and could create around 50 construction jobs as well as attracting around £4million in private sector investment.

The development would boast a “communal landscaped area” plus “tree lined streetscapes” which it is claimed will “enhance the overall appearance of the locality at a key location” of entry into Larne.

The supporting statement adds: “We believe the application brings forward a high quality residential development and will deliver new family homes for the Larne area.

“The proposal represents a significant investment of c. £4million from the private sector and during the construction phase will create c. 50 construction jobs.

“The proposed development seeks to re-utilise and regenerate a brownfield site which has been vacant for over six years.

“The scale, massing and density of the development is sensitive to the surroundings and the development which already exists within the local area.”

A new access route would be created from Ballyhampton Road.

According to a transport assessment for the site, the proposed new access onto Ballyhampton Road would have “adequate capacity to cater for the proposed development safely, without increasing the risk to existing users of the Ballyhampton Road.”

It claims that “adequate capacity is available at all junctions between site access and the A8.”

In order to “discourage high car ownership,” the new development would “allow for minimal and finite parking only.”

Leaseholder of the Prom Cafe Louise Magill, whose late father Crawford owned the Highways Hotel from 1972 until 1995, welcomed the proposal.

“I’m very pleased at the possibility that it won’t be an eyesore anymore,” she said.

“Dad passed away in 2015 after suffering from dementia but his heart was always at the Highways Hotel.

“He always said he was going to buy the Highways back and turn it into a proper hotel.

“It would have been lovely if it could have been turned into a dementia nursing home but it would be good if it could be turned into a residential development and tidied up nicely.”