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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

MEA Council gives green light for 87 new affordable homes and social housing units

Location plan for new housing development at Antiville, Larne in County Antrim

A planning application for 87 new homes in Larne’s Antiville estate was approved at a meeting of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday (22nd February).

The new houses are earmarked for Kintyre Road and Lealies Drive.

Seventy, three-bedroom semi-detached, eight semi-detached two-bedroom and nine, three-bedroom terrace houses with front and rear gardens are planned. All will have parking spaces with additional capacity to be available on-street.

Henry McAlister, planning officer, told the meeting the site had been in use for housing which had been demolished by the Housing Executive. The original street lay-out remains in place.

He said that the new properties will include eight two-bedroom “semis” as required by the Housing Executive “to help meet the area’s housing stress”. These will be managed by a housing association.

A report to the committee explained the proposal has been amended since the initial submission to take account of a new policy on affordable housing in settlements.

The report said: “Consultation with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive has identified an issue with housing stress in the Linn Road area of Larne and NIHE have stated that they would support ten per cent or eight units of two-bedroom accommodation as part of this proposal.

“Written confirmation has been received from NB Housing Association stating that they will work with the developer to deliver and manage the eight units.”

Planning agent Eamonn Loughrey said: “This is a well-considered development of 87 dwellings on what was  previously public sector housing land. Social housing will be provided as required by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.”

There was one letter of objection to the development proposal which highlighted concerns over potential traffic impact; lack of parking; limited play space; increase in anti-social behaviour; loss of views and overlooking.

Knockagh Alliance Councillor Aaron Skinner suggested the development could have included 20 per cent social housing instead of ten.

Mr Loughrey indicated that ten per cent was supported by the Housing Executive. He noted the price point for houses in the development will be under £95,000.

Cllr Skinner commented: “I would like to see more social and affordable housing across the board.”

Coast Road DUP Cllr Angela Smyth said: “I know stock level is very low in that particular area. This is why the new policy works very well where the Housing Executive will have a group of houses. It is easier to manage them in a wee block like this. In this area, it really suits it very well.”

Party colleague Larne Lough Alderman Paul Reid stated: “We are getting affordable and social housing and that is good and I welcome this development. It is an area of waste ground that has been sitting for a long time. It is good that people will be able to get back into this area.”

Ald Reid seconded a proposal by Cllr Smyth to support the officer’s recommendation to approve the development. Planning permission was granted after a vote in which the committee backed the proposal unanimously.


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