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New residential complex planned for Harryville area of Ballymena

Queen Street facing apartments in block one shown in the plans.
Queen Street facing apartments in block one shown in the plans.

The regeneration of the Harryville area of Ballymena looks set to continue with plans submitted in recent days for a new residential development on Queen Street.


A mixed area of houses and commercial premises, Harryville has seen much change over the last decade with the construction of several new housing and apartment complexes. Additionally planning permission was recently granted for a new 38,000 square foot Home Bargains store in the area.



If approved, the latest plans would see a number of older residential dwellings at 17-21 Queen Street demolished to make way for 12 new apartments. Planning documents reveal the development includes two apartment block, each containing six units. The first block is street-facing while the second block would be built to the rear of the site.


Houses to be demolished on Queen Street, Ballymena.
Houses to be demolished on Queen Street, Ballymena if plans are approved and go ahead.
Site plan.
Site plan for two new apartment blocks.

The planning application has been made in the name of Mr Colin Johnston of Revival Property Ltd, and the supporting document provides the following details:


"Given its location within the main commercial area of Ballymena and the mix of development throughout Queen Street, we contend this an important or prime site for re-development particularly considering its ‘tired’ appearance to the front and unused large plot to the rear (with abandoned/derelict out building). (Re) introduction of residential use (specifically for social housing) is much needed however must be sustainable and of appropriate design:



BLOCK 1


"In effect this ‘freshens up’ the current mid-terrace with a new replacement block which retains eaves and ridge heights (to that existing) and introduces a modern design with mix of materials.


"Large windows and balconies allow prospective residents to ‘interact’ with the street whilst light and outlook gained from the front to rear layout enhances residential amenity – no overlooking exists given separation distances and design whilst access to private communal amenity (and landscaping) is unique (and a positive) within this town centre setting.


Plans for apartment block 1.
Plans for apartment block 1.

"Parking, bin and cycle stores are all located beyond the minimal (depth) rear return (which houses only the communal access and lift).


"Importantly, the covered vehicular/pedestrian entry providing access to the rear has been relocated further along Queen Street and the main junction, increasing the safety of road users accessing/exiting the site as well as traffic pressure/convenience within this busy street, all of which we contend beneficial and a planning gain to the scheme.



BLOCK 2


"This is sited further into the plot (than the existing outbuilding) and accessed via the vehicular/pedestrian entry off Queen Street at the end of small road/turning head (all meeting Roads standards/adoptable if necessary). It is surrounded by a mix of hard standing (parking) and amenity/landscaping and like Block 1 has dedicated cycle and bin stores. 1:1 parking is situated immediately to the front of the 6 apartments - the site promotes accessibility and private use for all residents/users and visitors.


"Design, materials and finishes all compliment Block 1 whilst eaves, pitch and ridgeline have all been sensitively kept to a minimum (given its context, specifically its relationship with residential properties in Patrick Place). Uniquely, ground floor apartments provide private gardens whilst access to communal amenity (and landscaped areas) is provided for all within this town centre setting.



Apartment block 2 elevations.
Apartment block 2 elevations.
Apartment block 2 floor plans.
Apartment block 2 floor plans.

"Front to rear layout with large windows allow prospective residents adequate natural light and outlook whilst noise from the railway line and adjoining commercial uses is suitably lessened with triple glazed windows/upgraded specification. Pedestrian access is provided throughout the site (and required by the Housing Association).


"The existing stone outbuilding currently abuts the boundary with the entry to the rear of the ‘deeper’ returned terraces in Patrick Place. In removing it (as previously approved) opportunity allowed for Block 2 to be sited further into the plot providing additional relief to this residential terrace, its returns, yard areas and the amenity of existing residents.



"A 7.3m separation distance between the proposed gable and Patrick Place returns is proposed - this coupled with its minimal/sympathetic height, i.e. proposed ridge sits beneath existing return heights, is both acceptable visually and in overcoming any concerns regarding overshadowing, light loss and overbearing to these properties.


"Block 2 and will not cause demonstrable harm to the residential amenity of residents within the Patrick Place terrace."


The application will be considered by planners at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council over the months ahead.

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