Road network change for Larne District Centre plan

The proposed layout for the new Larne District Centre. INLT-20-714-con
The proposed layout for the new Larne District Centre. INLT-20-714-con

A proposal for a new multimillion pound district centre could be resurrected if planners grant permission for variations to road development.

Larne District Centre, which would be situated between Old Forge Manor and Porter Crescent, was originally the brainchild of property developer Seymour Sweeney.

The plans included a food store, petrol filling station and car wash, three retail units (pharmacy, hair salon, video rental), and two hot food outlets.

Also proposed as part of the project were a bank/building society and ATM, wellness centre, cafe/restaurant, taxi booking office, access arrangements, car parking, recycling point, servicing and landscaping works.

However, despite outline planning permission being granted to Mr Sweeney’s company Seaport (NI) Ltd in August 2009 and a reserved matters application being granted in July 2013, large-scale work has yet to commence on the development.

With planning permission due to expire on July 1, the latest planning application by Nuport Developments seeks to vary conditions two, six, seven and eight of the planning approval granted in July 2013 to allow development of the District Centre to begin before access works and the development of a public road are carried out.

The previous application had specified that vehicular access and highway structures should be constructed prior to the commencement of the development.

A concerned resident commented: “The link between Lindara and Walnut Hollow was completed a year ago and we have been waiting on the link road to be finished between the Killyglen Road and the Old Belfast Road to complete this.

“Developers have been building in a piecemeal fashion. Development slowed down due to the downturn but it has restarted and we need to complete the roads infrastructure.”

A representative from agent TSA Planning was unavailable for comment when contacted by The Times.