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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Plans revealed for self-catering tourist accommodation proposal in Broughshane

Plans have been lodged with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for a local tourist accommodation complex, comprising five self-catering units, outside Ballymena.

The proposed site described as ‘poor agricultural land’ on Lisnamurrican Road, is set in the countryside, on the western approach to Slemish mountain. The site is located between the village of Broughshane, to the West, and Slemish mountain, to the East.

According to a report to planners, the key concept behind the design is that the five self-catering units have been arranged in a courtyard format to closely resemble the layout and form of a traditional Irish 'farmyard'.

The report states:

‘The units read as a collection of interconnected buildings arranged around a central courtyard, as opposed to a series of individual bungalows or holiday homes, which would be the completely wrong approach for this rural setting.

‘Unit No. 1 is slightly taller than single storey, so that it reads as the main 'farmhouse' form, with all the other units being single storey and connected to resemble outbuildings, sheds and barns that would naturally evolve over time in a farm setting.

‘The building elements of Unit No.2 and Units Nos. 3,4 & 5 have been slightly angled away from the main farmhouse element (Unit No.1) by a few degrees to further enhance the feel of a traditional collection of farm buildings.’

Although the proposed buildings will be contemporary in style, the materials used sim to ground the scheme in its rural environment, using a mix of white render, natural stone work, and wooden beams.

The report states the immediate surrounds of the proposed buildings ‘will be inconspicuous because no felling of trees or hedgerows is proposed. Rather these features are sought to be retained and augmented.’

In recent years, council has been seeking to promote all that Mid and East Antrim has to offer visitors to the area. Local attraction Slemish mountain, situated close to the proposed development, is understood to have attracted over 77,000 visitors in 2020.

In June, two separate planning applications for glamping sites were submitted for Kells and Carnlough, (click here to read more) and suggest that investors are increasingly confident of a potential opportunities to capitalise on a growing tourism and hospitality industry.

Concluding the report to planners states that the ‘design has been very carefully considered and the layout and materials, retention of existing and proposed new landscaping and communal public open space areas will assist in providing a highly sustainable tourism development to the benefit of the Borough.’

The proposal will be considered in coming months by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Planning Committee.


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