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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Cafe proposal for Hazelbank Park as visitor numbers continue to soar

Hazelbank Pavilion.

An application has been submitted to planners at Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council for change of use of Hazelbank Pavilion.

The proposal would see the former bowling green pavilion and children’s nursery facility at Hazelbank Park, in Newtownabbey, being opened as a cafe/ restaurant, if permission is granted.

Proposed floor plan

The proposed development relates to the change of use of a vacant single storey building to introduce a cafe at the seafront location, a report to the planning department says.

During the Covid pandemic, the council considered making the pavilion building available for children with autism and their parents as a temporary  measure for those who live in a property with no garden or an apartment whilst council parks were shut.

In May, permission was approved by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Planning Committee for the permanent retention of a specially-themed public garden at Hazelbank Park to mark the coronation of King Charles III.

Coronation Garden

The installation was created by celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin on the site of the disused bowling green which was officially opened on May 24 by His Majesty and Queen Camilla and has already attracted more than 50,000 visitors.

The 16-metre structure is a three-floor pavilion topped by a crown and provides visitors with a musical performance of dancing topiary and spinning conical trees every 15 minutes.

A £30k sensory garden was opened at Hazelbank Park in May 2021.

Earlier this year, councillors agreed to submit a funding application to the Department for Communities’ Access and Inclusion Programme for a modular Changing Places toilet facility at the visitor site.


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