Green light for new 24-hour filling station in Ballymena
A new petrol station and car wash was approved at Larne Link Road in Ballymena by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Planning Committee at a meeting on Thursday.
The proposed development is to include a “drive-thru” restaurant/cafe and car parking.
The 24-hour four-pump petrol filling station will be unattended.
Senior planning officer Kyle Patterson said the proposed development “would not appear out of keeping with the area” and is “typical of modern petrol stations”.
“Overall the design is in keeping with this location and character of the buildings,” he added.
The location also features outlets including Costa Coffee, Tim Hortons and KFC.
“This proposal represents an appropriate form of development at this location and approval is recommended,” he continued.
Ballymena Alderman Audrey Wales MBE asked if the planning officer could guarantee there would be no retail outlet on the site.
“We really do not need another retail facility outside our town,” she remarked.
The officer said a ‘town centre first’ approach would apply and would be implemented to any such application.
Ald Wales went on to say the council has been “careful to ensure there is no retail development” at the St Patrick’s Barracks development site.
Mr Patterson pointed out there is no retail element proposed as part of the current Larne Link Road application.
Larne Lough DUP Ald Paul Reid said: “We must protect our town centres at all costs.”
He proceeded to query if consent for discharge has been approved. He was informed it is the responsibility of the developer to do so before any work commences.
Ald Reid continued: “I think it is important we tell the developer that consent for discharge must be sought and granted before any work can commence on that site.”
Knockagh Alliance Ald Noel Williams, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, proposed the committee supports the recommendation to approve the application.
His proposal was seconded by Larne Lough Ulster Unionist Cllr Keith Turner.
Eight councillors voted in favour and two against.