Michelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)
Drive-through restaurant and nursing home part of plans for approved MEA retirement village
A development proposal for a new “retirement village” in Carrickfergus now includes plans for a drive-through restaurant, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s PlanningCommittee has been told.
The renewed application, which was approved at a meeting of the Planning Committee on Thursday morning, will include 234 houses, 81 apartments and a nursing home.
Other features of the proposed development are a spa/swimming pool, tennis courts, bowling green, park land and park and ride facility.
The application will see a reduction in the number of apartments proposed in the original application that was approved in 2019 and an “increased number of housing units”.
Head of Planning Paul Duffy told the meeting that the development is to be located on a 26 hectare site of the former Courtaulds factory to the rear of the Loughshore Hotel.
He went on to say that the “most significant change” to the original application is the omission of a health centre, the addition of a drive-through restaurant and a larger nursing home.
The current proposal includes 125-bed nursing home; 81 apartments; four townhouses; 92 semi-detached houses; 23 bungalows and 115 detached houses.
Phase one will include 48 apartments by Clanmill Housing Association.
Knockagh Independent Councillor Bobby Hadden asked about a road network upgrade in the area.
“A significant number of cars are going to be on this road,” he noted.
Cllr Hadden asked for an assurance that it could cope with the increase in traffic. He also pointed out that a new Home Bargains store is planned in the area.
“I have serious concerns about how the infrastructure will deal with this increase,” he stated.
Mr Duffy replied that changes will have to be made at a roundabout for the park and ride facility.
He indicated that DfI is satisfied with the proposed road upgrade.
Larne Lough DUP councillor Alderman Paul Reid proposed the committee accepted the recommendation to approve the application.
His proposal was seconded by Cllr Hadden.