Permission sought to demolish former Glenarm school

A planning application has been lodged with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for the demolition of the former Glenarm Primary School.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 11:01 am

The site at Straidkilly Road had been put on the market by the local authority for £250,000.

An application for the demolition of the former school, which has been closed since 2005, has been made by Antrim Estates Company at Glenarm Castle.

The 9.5 acre site adjacent to the castle is currently used for grazing and as an overflow area for events.

Glenarm Castle entrance. Pic courtesy Google Streetview

It was advertised for sale as a “village centre regeneration and development opportunity”.

The application says that demolition of the school building will “make way for a new chapter in the tourism and community regeneration of Glenarm Castle and village”.

It also states that since the closure of the school, the building has been “severely vandalised, has deteriorated extensively and is now in a derelict and unsafe state”.

Glamping pods have already been opened by the company on a one hectare site in the grounds of the 17th century castle with glamping or glamorous camping increasing in popularity.

A recent post by Glenarm Castle on social media said: “Although the pandemic has had a major impact on our business, it has allowed us the opportunity to review our current offering and make improvements and enhancements.

“We are delighted to have received support from Tourism NI which has enabled us to develop a range of brand new visitor experiences to compliment our existing offering,”

Meanwhile, a new four-star hotel and whiskey distillery are part of regeneration plans for Glenarm seafront.

A state-of-the-art visitor experience and community hub are further elements of the development proposals for the coastal village after permission was granted for the sale of the council-owned former quarry, fish factory and Eglinton Yard.

Commenting on the development proposals previously, Mid and East Antrim Mayor Councillor Peter Johnston said: “The village of Glenarm has always been a celebrated jewel in the crown of Mid and East Antrim’s outstanding tourism offering on the Causeway Coastal Route but, like any tourist destination, it requires ongoing investment and regeneration.

“The sale of these council-owned lands will serve as a tremendous catalyst in breathing new life into the area – boosting the economy, increasing tourism and creating jobs in Glenarm.”

Tourism in Mid and East Antrim generated the sum of £57m in 2019.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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Click here to read: Glenarm school’s switch to integrated status approved

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