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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Major social housing development in Carrickfergus gets green light


Social housing in Carrickfergus has been given a boost with the go-ahead for 146 new dwellings adjacent to Minorca Drive at a meeting of Mid and East Antrim’s Planning Committee on Thursday morning.


The proposed development will consist of bungalows, detached and semi-detached houses.


The application was initially approved by the committee in November 2019 but has been amended to accommodate properties that “constitute social housing” requirements.



Principal Planning Officer Gary McGuinness told the meeting that the overall number of proposed new properties has not changed although some have increased in size and back gardens have increased.


“Overall the lay-out is acceptable with a variety of house types including bungalows.”


Larne Lough Alliance Councillor Robert Logan said he wished to confirm that it was just an amendment to the previous application and “not any major change” with the same number of houses and lay-out.”


Mr McGuinness explained that social housing has different criteria.



Larne Lough DUP councillor Alderman Paul Reid commented: “This is a good news story.”


Knockagh Independent Councillor Bobby Hadden said:


“There is a massive need for social housing in Carrickfergus.


Knockagh Alliance councillor Alderman Noel Williams stated:


“I am very happy to support the application.”


Ballymena DUP councillor Alderman Audrey Wales, Chair of the Planning Committee asked for an assurance that dropped kerbs will be installed where there are dwellings for disabled residents.



Mr McGuinness stressed that this criteria would be “adhered to”.


Councillors voted unanimously to approve the application.


Commenting on the development previously, DUP MLA David Hilditch said:


“As an elected representative for East Antrim, I am only too aware of the lack of social housing available across the board presently. My office continues to deal with an ever increasing amount of housing cases which are becoming more difficult due to the lack of stock and low turnover of social housing.


“This proposal from Choice is a welcome one with 146 new homes to be built over three phases comprising two bedroom, three bedroom and four bedroom houses, wheelchair houses and a small amount of wheelchair bungalows.


“We continue to lobby for more social housing in the town as the demand increases. Hopefully this latest development will ease some of the pressure on the system at present.”




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